[Marxism] Iran leader calls for US pullout during visit by Iraqi PM

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Sep 15 03:55:05 MDT 2006

Iran leader says pullout by U.S. is vital to Iraq

Thursday, September 14, 2006 
Associated Press 

TEHRAN, Iran -- Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the
visiting Iraqi prime minister yesterday that the way to end instability
in Iraq includes the withdrawal of U.S. forces. 

"Part of (Iraq's) sufferings have been due to the actions of the former
regime, and part is due to the presence of occupiers in Iraq," Khamenei
told Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to the Iranian state news
agency and state television. 

Maliki, making his first visit to Iran since he took office in May, is
looking to the close ally of his Shi'a-led government for help in
calming the violence tearing apart Iraq and in developing Iraq's
troubled oil industry. 

On the second day of his visit, he told Khamenei the Iranian government
must stop outside influences that are having a "negative" impact on
Iraq's security, Maliki's spokesman said. 

Iraq has been torn by sectarian violence between Shi'a and Sunni
Muslims, as well as a Sunni-led insurgency. The United States has
frequently accused the Iranian regime of interfering in Iraqi politics
and allowing insurgents to cross the border. Tehran denies that. 

Khamenei told Maliki that Iran "considers it an obligation to support
the Iraqi government in practical ways," Iran's state news agency said. 

But Khamenei -- who holds the final word in all political matters in
Iran -- made clear Iran wants to see the withdrawal of U.S. troops,
which he blamed in part for the turmoil plaguing Iraq. 

State TV quoted Maliki as saying instability was Iraq's biggest
challenge, and he blamed the violence mainly on supporters of Saddam
Hussein's old regime. 

No public mention was made of outside meddling in Iraqi affairs. In
Baghdad, however, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Maliki
underlined that "we don't want interference in our internal affairs." 

Dabbagh suggested money was flowing from elements in Iran to groups in
Iraq, which he did not identify. 

It is believed some Shi'a militias involved in sectarian killings have
support from groups in Iran, a predominantly Shi'a nation. 

"There is interference coming from neighboring countries, and it has
negative implications for the situation in Iraq," Dabbagh told the
Associated Press in a telephone interview from Baghdad. 

In a meeting with Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Maliki
thanked Iran for giving haven to Iraqi leaders opposed to Saddam's rule.

"Iraq is Iran's natural ally," state TV quoted Larijani as telling

In the latest sign of increasing cooperation, the two countries reached
a deal for jointly developing oil fields straddling their border, and
eventually Iraq will send crude oil to refineries in Iran for
processing, Iraq's Oil Ministry said yesterday. 

Iran is also helping Iraq in its chronic shortages of petroleum
products. Under a deal reached last month, Iraq will sell crude oil to
its neighbor, which will sell back kerosene, and an Iranian-Turkish
company will deliver gasoline, Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad
told the Associated Press. 

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