DUBAI: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed strong opposition Sunday to intervention in Iraq by the United States or anyone else, saying Iraqis themselves could bring an end to violence there, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Khamenei, who has the last word on all matters of state, added in remarks to judiciary officials that Washington aimed to keep Iraq under its control and place its own stooges in power. The conflict there was not sectarian, but was really between those who wanted Iraq in the U.S. camp and those who sought Iraq's independence, IRNA reported.
"We are strongly opposed to U.S. and other (countries') intervention in Iraq," IRNA quoted Khamenei as saying.
"We don't approve of it, as we believe the Iraqi government, nation and religious authorities are capable of ending the sedition. And God willing, they will do so."
U.S. President Barack Obama on June 19 offered up to 300 Americans to help coordinate the fight against rapid advances by the Sunni militant Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which has captured swatches of northern Iraq this month. But he held off granting a request for airstrikes from the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
"America is not pleased with the ongoing (political) process in Iraq, meaning the wide participation in the elections and selecting their own choice (of representatives), as the U.S. is seeking an Iraq under its hegemony and ruled by its stooges," Khamenei was quoted as saying, referring to an Iraqi parliamentary election in April.