Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Sunday that Iran’s regime must stop meddling in Iraq and that the presence of Iranian military units there 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 regime’s senior officers is leading operations in Iraq against Sunnis.
Earlier last week, the 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 U.S.-designated terrorist organization and a proxy of the Iranian regime, has uploaded a video showing a large convoy of its rocket launcher systems being sent to the front lines near Iraqi city of Fallujah.
Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ terrorist Quds Force, was also 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, or Movement of the Noble, an Iranian regime-backed so-called “Shiite militia” which operates in both Iraq and Syria.
“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.
Jubeir accused Iran’s regime of sowing “sedition” in Iraq. He urged 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,” he said.
“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.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was reassuring his Gulf counterparts that world powers are closely monitoring Iran’s regime 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 program does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to Iran’s continuing attempts to destabilize the region or to its ballistic missiles program which remains a serious threat to peace and which breaches UN resolutions,” Hammond said.
Jubeir criticized the Iranian regime for its warmongering policies.
“But it’s difficult to live with a neighbor whose objective is to destroy you: that’s why the relation with Iran is not what it should be,” he said.
“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 added.