Iran urges Iraq not to host ‘disruptive security presence’

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday warned neighboring Iraq not to allow the use of its soil for activities that disrupt the Islamic republic’s security, his office said.

His remarks follow Iran’s accusations last month that the autonomous zone of Iraqi Kurdistan had housed a “strategic center” used by Tehran’s sworn enemy, Israel.

“The President stressed that Iran has a strong expectation that neighboring countries, particularly Iraq, will no longer allow any disruptive presence for the security of the Islamic Republic,” a statement from Raisi’s office said. .

The president accused Iraq’s Kurdistan region of “negligence”, adding that Iran was closely monitoring Israel’s movements and would not allow it to endanger the region’s security through any country, including including Iraq.

The Iranian president made the remarks in Tehran during a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein.

The head of Iraqi diplomacy promised that his country would not be a base for actions against Iran’s security, the statement added.

“We are ready for extensive cooperation, including in the security field, to prevent any threat to Iran’s interests,” Fuad said, according to Raisi’s office.

Last month, Iran targeted the northern Iraqi city of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, with a dozen ballistic missiles that lightly injured two civilians.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of the country’s military, confirmed at the time that they had fired the projectiles and targeted a “strategic center” used by Israel.

Arbil Governor Oumid Khouchnaw called any notion of Israeli sites in and around Arbil “baseless”, saying that “there are no Israeli sites in the area”.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned the attack and summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest the strikes.

Iran has considerable influence over the federal authorities in Baghdad.

“Iraq no longer sees itself as an effective neighbour, but also as a best friend and a friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the Iranian presidency added Thursday, quoting the eminent diplomat from Baghdad.

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