Saudi: Iran armed units must leave Iraq
Saudi FM accused Iran of sowing “sedition” in Iraq urging Tehran to “stop intervening” in the affairs of its neighbors
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said on Sunday that sending Iranian Shiite armed units to Iraq to participate in military operations or undergo training is unacceptable.
"Iraq's problem is religious conflicts caused by the Iranian interference," Jubeir stressed, adding that Saudi Arabia insists on withdrawal of Iranian troops from Iraq, saying that one of the Iranian senior officers is leading operations in Iraq against Sunnites.
Earlier last week, Iraqi Defense Ministry published an official report which includes statements confirming that the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades are involved in the battle of Fallujah.
A YouTube account linked to Kata’ib Hezbollah, a US-designated terrorist organization and Iranian proxy, has uploaded a video showing a large convoy of its rocket launcher systems being sent to the front lines near Iraqi city of Fallujah.
From its part, days ago, Harakat al Nujaba, or Movement of the Noble, an Iranian-supported Shiite militia which operates in both Iraq and Syria, has said it is clearing a road in eastern Anbar province in preparation for an upcoming offensive to retake Fallujah from the ISIS.
Also, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force – the external operations wing of the Revolutionary Guards – was spotted in a picture said to be taken near Fallujah. A picture of Soleimani in the “Fallujah operations room” was posted to the Facebook account of Harakat al Nujaba.
Sending Iranian Shia armed units to Iraq or their training there is unacceptable both on invitation [of the Iraqi authorities] and without it," Jubeir stated at a joint press conference with his UK counterpart Philip Hammond broadcast by Al Arabiya Channel.
al-Jubeir accused Iran of sowing “sedition” in Iraq urging Tehran to “stop intervening” in the affairs of its neighbors.
“Sedition and division in Iraq are the results of sectarian policies that developed out of Iran’s policies in Iraq,” said al-Jubeir.
“If Iran wants stability in Iraq, it has to stop intervening and withdraw,” he said after accusing Tehran of sending “Shiite militias” to the war-torn country.
Hammond said he was reassuring his Gulf counterparts that world powers are closely monitoring Iran in the wake of last year's nuclear deal which paved the way for a partial lifting of sanctions.
"Just because we've made an agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to Iran's continuing attempts to destabilize the region or to its ballistic missiles programme which remains a serious threat to peace and which breaches UN resolutions," Hammond said.
Jubeir, said "We supported that agreement so long as we were assured that Iran will not be able to acquire a nuclear capability. "They are, after all, a neighbor and we will have to live with them. But it's difficult to live with a neighbour whose objective is to destroy you: that's why the relation with Iran is not what it should be."
“Iran should respect the principle of good neighborly relations, to focus on its internal situation and not intervene in the affairs of other countries in the region, mainly Iraq,” he said.
He added that Iran should deal with its domestic matters instead of interfering in internal affairs of other states in the region.