November 28, 2023

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No way for U.S. but leaving Iraq: ex-diplomat

TEHRAN – Hassan Danaeefar, the former Iranian ambassador to Iraq, has said that the United States has no choice other than exiting its forces from Iraq.

“The people of Iraq will not let the United States influence the country’s sovereignty, and Washington has no way but leaving Iraq,” he told ILNA in an interview published on Saturday.

He noted that many of the U.S. forces are leaving bases in Iraq and the country’s demand is being fulfilled.

The Iraqi Parliament voted on January 5 to expel the U.S. troops from Iraq.

In an interview with Tasnim news agency in January, Danaeefar said that it is essential that the U.S. leave Iraq now that the Iraqi parliament has voted to expel American forces from the country.

The Iraqi people have the experience of fighting the U.S. occupation, the ambassador said, predicting the Iraqis will rise against U.S. forces if they refuse to leave the country. 

“So, if the occupant does not respect the Iraqis’ approval, they [the Iraqis] will fight them,” he said.

He said if the U.S. refuses to leave, Iraq can file a complaint in international courts.

The U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the false claim that the country was hiding weapons of mass destruction. The invasion took place despite repeated confirmations by international bodies, including the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iraq did not have any secret weapons program.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has said that the U.S. must leave the region, noting that the U.S. is unwelcome in the region.

“Iraq and the region are dissatisfied with the presence of the United States, and the United States must respect the Iraqi parliament’s approval to end the United States’ military presence,” IRNA quoted him as saying in an interview with Aljazeera in January.

He said the Iraqi parliament’s approval is the result of more than 17 years of the U.S. occupation of the country.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in January that the U.S. “corruptive presence” in the region must come to an end.

“This region does not accept the presence of the United States. The people in the region and the regional governments rising from the people do not accept this issue,” the Leader pointed out.

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