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US must leave Iraq by 2011 deadline: Iranian Commander

Source: Press TV

A top commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the US must fulfill its obligations under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Yadollah Javani
IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Yadollah Javani

"If the Americans really seek to establish security in Iraq, they must leave Iraqi soil by the end of 2011 and in accordance with the security agreement they have signed with the Iraqi government," Mehr News Agency quoted IRGC Deputy Commander Brigadier General Yadollah Javani as saying on Friday.

The Status of Forces Agreement signed between the United States and the Iraqi government mandates that Washington must withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of December 2011.

The Iranian commander described the presence of foreign troops in Iraq including US forces as the major cause of insecurity in the country.

Javani pointed to a recent accusation leveled by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta against Iran over its role in Iraq and said this is as a timeworn allegation.

On July 11, Panetta, who was on a formal visit to Iraq, said the US is "very concerned about Iran and the weapons they're providing to extremists in Iraq."

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of finding the alleged weapons of mass destruction in the possession of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. No such weapons were ever found in Iraq.

Washington officially ended combat operations in Iraq last August and according to US officials, the current role of the US army is to advise and help Iraqi security forces.

But despite claims by the United States of no longer being engaged in combat actions in Iraq, there have been numerous reports of involvement of the US troops in military operations in the war torn country.

There are currently about 50,000 US soldiers bases in Iraq, who are due to leave in the country by the end of this year in line with the 2008 US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.

... Payvand News - 09/02/11 ... --

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