Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, told visiting Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid on Saturday that the United States is an unreliable ally and that Iraq should not permit any American troops on its soil.
Strongly connected to Iraq, Iran opposes American military presence on its borders in Iraq and the Gulf, claiming that Western military intervention is the cause of the unrest in the area.
“Americans are not friends of Iraq. Americans are not friends with anyone and are not even loyal to their European friends,” state media quoted Khamenei as saying.
U.S. national security agencies are investigating after a leak of classified documents has suggested the United States spied on allies including Ukraine.
“Even the presence of one American in Iraq is too much,” Khamenei told Rashid, who was in Tehran with a delegation to boost ties between the two neighbours.
The United States has some 2,500 troops in Iraq to help advise and assist local troops in combating Islamic State, which in 2014 seized territory in the country.
“Iraq’s main effort is to deepen relations with Iran and resolve certain remaining issues between the two countries,” Rashid was quoted as saying, without referring to Iraq’s ties with the United States.