Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei Tells Iraq Not to Trust America, Claims U.S. Created Islamic State

Ayatollah Khamenei and Donald Trump
Iranian Supreme Leader Office via AP/AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on Thursday. According to Iranian media accounts of the meeting, Khamenei warned Abadi against “U.S. plots” and told him never to trust the United States.

“Americans themselves created Daesh, but now that the terrorists have been defeated by the Iraqi government and nation, they pretend to favor and and support such a major development,” said Khamenei, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency. “Daesh” is another name for ISIS.

Khamenei said the United States would “undoubtedly strike a blow to Iraq again” when it sees an opportunity.

His version of the fall of the Islamic State gave no credit to the U.S. coalition. Instead, according to Tasnim, he attributed the victory to “unity among various Iraqi ethnicities” and “the Baghdad government’s support for the popular forces,” by which he meant the Shiite-dominated militia groups in Iraq.

“Unity was the most important factor in your gains against terrorists and their supporters,” Khamenei told Abadi. “Don’t trust America. … It will harm you in the future.”

For his part, Abadi reportedly “expressed gratitude to Iran” for its support and embraced “broader ties with Tehran.” He also vowed not to allow secessionist movements not to threaten the integrity of Iraq, clearly a reference to the Kurdish independence referendum.

Tasnim also reported Thursday on a meeting between Iran’s First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri and Abadi, in which Jahangiri called for stronger economic ties between Baghdad and Tehran.

Jahangiri mentioned bilateral trade agreements, tighter banking integration between the two countries, and cooperation on oil and gas production as examples of the economic ties he wished to establish. Abadi’s response included thanks to Iran and Turkey for helping his government deal with the Kurdish independence movement.

In an interview on Tuesday before departing for Tehran, Abadi said Iraq would like to work with both the United States and Iran. “But please don’t bring your trouble inside Iraq. You can sort it anywhere else,” he added.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.