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Larijani Raps Occupiers' Presence in Iraq

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, June 23 (ICANA) – Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani has lashed out at foreign powers for prolonging their presence in Iraq, saying occupiers are undermining achievements of the war-torn country.
Thursday, June 23, 2011 10:07:00 PM
Larijani Raps Occupiers' Presence in Iraq

In a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday, Larijani stressed the importance of adopting measures to prevent occupiers from overshadowing Iraq's national assets and valuable achievements made by the people during recent years, including independence, national sovereignty and democracy.

“The Islamic Republic will always welcome any efforts in line with Iraq's progress, development and settlement of problems in various fields,” Larijani added.

He added that the Iranian government and nation seek the establishment of a “powerful, democratic and independent” Iraq and called for speedy implementation of agreements already signed between Tehran and Baghdad.

Under the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Washington is mandated to withdraw its 50,000-strong force from Iraq by December 31, 2011.

US officials are now pressing the Iraqi government to allow an extension of the US military presence.

However, according to Iraqi officials, local security forces are now completely capable of maintaining stability in the country.

The top Iranian parliamentarian further pointed to the recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, saying, “Global powers must meet popular demands for establishing democratic systems and stop resisting against them.”

In recent months, a wave of revolutions and anti-government uprisings has swept across the Arab world.

In January, a revolution in Tunisia ended the 23-year rule of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In February, another revolution led to the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after three decades of authoritarian rule. Both dictators were firmly backed by the US and most other Western 'democracies.'

Revolutions have also begun in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain, while anti-government demonstrations have been held in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, and Algeria.

The Iraqi foreign minister, for his part, expressed appreciation for Iran's all-out assistance to the Iraqi people at critical juncture and said his country places no obstacle in the way of expansion of amicable relations with Tehran.

“No factor can damage cordial relations between the two countries in various fields,” Zebari added.

“The Iraqi government and the country's security forces have the capabilities to resolve security issues,” the Iraqi foreign minister said.

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