Iran’s top leader urges U.S. to leave Iraq, Syria

TEHRAN, March 11 (Xinhua) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Thursday for the end of the United States presence in Syria and Iraq.

“The Americans must leave Iraq, which is the will of the Iraqis and their law,” he said in an appearance on state TV at an Islamic religious occasion.

By “the Iraqis’ law,” Khamenei was referring to a resolution passed on Jan. 5, 2020, by the Iraqi parliament requiring the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.

On the other hand, Khamenei lambasted criticism of Iranian presence in Syria, Iraq and other countries in West Asia, arguing that, contrary to the U.S. presence, the Iranian presence is not military but “political,” and wherever it is “indeed military, it has an advisory role.”

Iran’s top leader went on to say that either in Syria and Iraq, Iran’s presence seeks to “defend the legitimate governments in place, at the request of those governments.”

U.S. critics, he further noted, “magnify” Iran’s regional presence, and at the same time Washington “attack a country without permission and establish a military base.”

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