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US-Iraq security pact a "pure Iraqi issue": Iran's Ambassador

TEHRAN, Oct. 10 (ISNA) - Iran's ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi Qomi said the US-Iraq security pact is a "pure Iraqi issue."  Interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, he noted the security pact is one-sided and emphasized the U.S. should respect Iraq's internal affairs.

Hassan Kazemi Qomi (file photo)

Iraqis regard the deal as being imposed on them, they would disagree with it since it damages their independence, sovereignty and civil rights, he said.

"Our advice to the Americans is as follows: before the anger of the Iraqi people regarding the occupation turns to violence, the Americans should logically solve this. They should pay attention to the sovereignty of Iraq and its culture and traditions. This is the sort of safety valve for maintaining the interests of all."

Asked whether Iran "advises or speaks with the Iraqis" about the agreement, Qomi replied "this is an Iraqi issue. It is a pure Iraqi issue. It is they who decide. They are looking out for the interests of the people."

He stated sharing common cultural and religious grounds with Iraq, Iran wishes the country has freedom, progress and unity.

Regarding the U.S. influence on Iraq the ambassador asserted once Saddam Hussein was toppled Iraqis were happy but now they are angry with Americans behavior and occupation.

"The behavior of the Americans after the occupation makes the Iraqis angrier... Now Iraqis think when the Americans toppled Saddam's regime, it was for America's interests and not the Iraqis."

Qomi also rejected the U.S. allegations that Iran supports Shiite militia groups in Iraq as "baseless accusations" adding Iran's policy opposes terrorism and insecurity in Iraq.

... Payvand News - 10/10/08 ... --

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