President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday that the US military presence is detrimental to security and stability in the region.
“We regard the presence of American armed forces in the region, be it in Iraq, Afghanistan or the southern countries of the Persian Gulf, harmful to security and stability in the region,” Rouhani told visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Tehran.
Rouhani urged all regional nations to push for the expulsion of the United States from West Asia.
“It is upon every country where Americans are present to push for their expulsion from the region,” the president said.
Rouhani described as a “positive step” a vote in the Iraqi Parliament earlier in January which called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and said Iran supports the move.
He said Iran has never sought to intervene in Iraq’s internal affairs and relations between the Iraqi groups.
“We have always stood by the Iraqi people and the country’s legitimate government,” the president said, noting that “the best example” of Iran’s support for Iraq was its assistance in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group which took swathes of Iraqi land in 2014.
Rouhani called for bolstering bilateral ties in political, cultural and economic fields and stressed the need to expedite the implementation of the deals reached between the two neighbors.
Hussein said his trip to Iran is aimed at further developing relations as well as laying the ground for the implementation of the deals between the two countries, including those related to border cooperation, transportation and trade.
He said an Iraqi delegation will travel to Iran in the coming weeks to set the stage for the implementation of agreements.
Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had held talks with his Iraqi counterpart.