ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – After pressure from multiple Iraqi parties, The Iraqi Foreign Ministry responded to inflammatory Iranian statements about its dominance over Iraq, and that it was responsible for the hanging of Saddam Hussein.
Earlier in the week, member of the Supreme Council for the Cultural Revolution Rahimpour Azghadi told a television news channel that five countries, including Iraq, “are under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.”
He went even further to say, “Iran has killed the former regime president, Saddam Hussein, after the United States sought to retain him. Our group hanged Saddam Hussein and not the Americans."
As if that wasn't sufficient to make Iraqi politicians take notice, he finished by saying, “It is time to declare the Persian Empire in the region.”
The remarks caused outraged responses from parties across Iraq’s many political divides, some criticizing Iraq’s Foreign Ministry for not immediately addressing them.
A senior official of the Badr Organization, Karim al-Nouri, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the statements were insulting to Iraq, and added that, although the United States provided protection for Saddam's trial, “the decision to execute him was purely Iraqi.”
Haider al-Mulla, from the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue party told Al-Sumaria News, “Iraq will not be part of the policy of sectarian wars that Iran seeks to create in the region, in the search for its alleged empire,” and demanded the Iraqi Foreign Ministry "take a clear position on these transgressions that affect Iraq's sovereignty.”
In a statement on Friday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said, “Iraq appreciates the support of all countries in the war on terrorism, but at the same time rejects the interference of any country in its internal affairs.”
He added that Iraq has political and economic ties to all nations in the region, and is dominated by none of them.