TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iran has denounced meddlesome U.S. remarks about Tehran’s ties with Baghdad, saying the Islamic Republic will not ask for any country’s permission to forge relations with its neighbor.
U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook had questioned President Hassan Rouhani’s "motives” for declaring that Tehran was committed to helping improve the welfare of the Iraqi people.
When the Iranian president does "prioritize his own people so why on earth he would prioritize the welfare of the Iraqi people,” Hook said on Monday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi hit back at Hook’s remarks, repudiating them as "unprofessional” and "meddlesome”.
"The fury of the American official comes as no surprise because it seems the U.S. has not yet achieved a desirable standing among the regional states despite spending billions of dollars in the Middle East,” he said.
Qasemi cited Washington’s "aggressive, militaristic and interfering approaches” towards the region as the cause of its failures.
American officials, he said, should check their extreme immorality and greed which they have grown accustomed to for many years and remember that "the era of interference and making decision for others is long past.”
Qasemi described Iran and Iraq as two independent countries whose governments have been elected by the votes of their people.
"The two great nations are certainly capable enough to discern their interests and preferences. So, there is no need for a country like the U.S. with a dark record of aggression, warmongering and destruction to decide for them from thousands of kilometers away.”
Iran and Iraq, as two neighbors with long shared borders and a longtime and deeply-rooted common history, enjoy deep cultural, religious and historical commonalities, he added.
The two nations, Qasemi said, have chosen to establish strategic and friendly relations based on good neighborliness and will spare no effort to preserve and continue their relations.
In an interview with Alhurrha TV on Monday, Hook claimed that Iran wanted to secure a "military highway” through Iraq to Western Asia so "that the IRGC can use to ferry missiles, weapons and fighters across the Middle East.”
"President Rouhani coming to Iraq is not in the interest of the Iraqi people,” Hook claimed, adding the U.S. would sanction "sanctionable activities” anywhere in the world.