Alwaght- Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran said Saturday the US is not a friend of any country, and that the presence of even one American soldier in Iraq is "too much."
Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid in Tehran on Saturday. Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi was also present in the meeting.
"Americans are not friends with anyone and are not even loyal to their European friends," the Leader said.
The Leader said the progress, prosperity, independence and development of Iraq are "of high importance" to Iran. "Expansion of bilateral cooperation and implementation of agreements are beneficial to the two countries."
"There is fierce enmity toward expansion of relations between Iran and Iraq and if there were no strong historical and religious bonds between the two countries, the state of relations would perhaps return to that of Saddam's era," Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
The Leader hailed the Iraqi people's hospitality toward Iranian pilgrims during the annual Arba’een commemorations and other religious rituals despite eight years of war between the two countries (in 1980s).
"The meaning of such a very important issue is that there are unifying factors between the two nations and the two states foreign political factors cannot influence. So this opportunity should be used to further deepen relations and there should be serious care and vigilance for their continuation," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader said the current satisfactory situation in Iraq's government is the outcome of unity among the people and political groups.
The Iraqi president, for his part, said his country enjoys continuous and strong relations with Iran in various fields.
Pointing to his talks with Iranian officials in Tehran, Rashid said Iraq is making utmost efforts to strengthen relations with Iran and implement the remaining issues between the two countries.
He also appreciated support of the Iranian government and people for Iraq in its fight against terrorism at different times.