Friday, 28 December 2018
Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami strongly blasted US President Donald Trump's recent visit to Iraq.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami strongly blasted US President Donald Trump's recent visit to Iraq.
Addressing a large and fervent congregation of the people in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Khatami said, "We saw that resistance always works; the recent secret visit of President Tump to Iraq took place clandestinely at night to a US military base in Iraq."
"You spent 7 trillion US dollars in the Middle East, but now you are forced to travel there in secret; in fact this is an admission of your humiliation and the righteousness of the people who chant 'down with US'," he added.
Iraqi political and popular forces' leaders have condemned Trump's unannounced trip to Iraq as a violation of their country's sovereignty.
In a surprise visit to US troops, Trump on Wednesday landed at an airbase west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where he thanked the soldiers for their service.
Sabah al-Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of the Iraqi parliament "to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The US occupation of Iraq is over".
Islah is headed by Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who has long opposed the US presence in Iraq since Washington's invasion against the country in 2003.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died in the conflict, which many analysts call one of the major US foreign policy debacles in recent history and one of the most destructive invasions in modern history.
The Bina bloc, led by Hadi al-Amiri, also objected to Trump's trip to Iraq.
"Trump's visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government," said a statement from Bina.
Trump did not meet any Iraqi officials during his three-hour-long stay. A scheduled meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was scrapped and the two leaders talked instead by telephone.
Mahdi's office said in a statement that US authorities had informed Iraq's leadership of the president's visit in advance. The statement said the Iraqi prime minister and the US president held a telephone conversation due to a "disagreement over how to conduct the meeting".
Meantime, the Iraqi legislators said that the two leaders had disagreed over where their planned meeting should take place: Trump had asked to meet at the Ain al-Asad military base, an offer Mahdi declined.