In spite of their raging conflict with the US, Iran has said it will not interfere in Iraq’s relations with Washington but warned that the US presence next door to the Islamic republic was a cause of insecurity.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi met with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the Iranian capital during his first trip abroad since taking office.

“Iran will not interfere in Iraq’s relations with America but expects Iraqi friends to know America and realise that their presence in any country causes corruption, ruin and destruction,” the Iranian leader said, according to his official website.

“The Islamic republic expects… (the Iraqi) parliament’s decision to expel the Americans to be adhered to since their presence is a cause of insecurity,” he said.

Khamenei pointed to the US killing of Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani in a January drone strike in Baghdad, after which parliament voted to expel US troops, saying- “They killed your guest in your house and blatantly confessed to it.”

According to him, Iran, “will never forget this and will certainly deal a reciprocal blow to the Americans”, Khamenei said.

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