Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called U.S. President Donald Trump a ‘liar,’ after the American leader expressed his wish to keep U.S. forces in Iraq in order to monitor neighboring Iran, earlier this week. In a statement quoted by state-run media, the Iranian president said “You say you stay in Iraq to watch Iran, while before that you were saying you stay there for fighting terrorism. It is so nice that you honestly expressed yourself!”
Meanwhile in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called upon U.S. President Donald Trump to back down from his pledge to maintain an American military presence in his country, for the purpose of keeping a close eye on neighboring Iran. Speaking at a weekly press-conference, the Iraqi leader voiced his rejection of any notion that any foreign force would be stationed in Iraq for any other reason than to train Iraqi troops and combat the Islamic State.
According to the Iraqi Prime Minister, “‘I don’t think that such statements (made by Trump) are useful. In fact, they won’t help much, and I hope that (Trump) would back down from them. I hope that our American friends would clarify their stance vis-a-vis these issues.” / “‘There are no American military bases in Iraq. We have reiterated that many times. There is no SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) between Iraq and the U.S., as was mentioned by some media. There are American trainers and military advisers within the framework of the international coalition, whose fundamental mission is to train Iraqi troops and combat Daesh (Islamic State). There is no other task for any force in Iraq other than these tasks. So, when it was mentioned that the mission of these troops is to fight a neighboring country like Iran, for instance, we reject such concepts.” There was no immediate response from the White House to TV7’s request for comment.