Iranian Reactions to U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

November 4, 2011


Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

October 30, 2011

In a meeting with President of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani, the Supreme Leader said “The united resistance of all peoples and religions of Iraq against the US pressures and their opposition to (granting) judicial immunity of the occupying army which eventually forced the US to leave Iraq is a golden page in the history of this country.”

“In spite of the military and political presence of America in Iraq, all Iraqi people – including Kurds and Arabs, Shia and Sunni – said ‘no’ to America and this is a very important point.”

“The current stability of Iraq is a source of delight for the Islamic Republic of Iran and all religious and ethnic groups of Iraq should join hands and make efforts to build a new Iraq.” (Fars News Agency [affiliated with Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)])

November 2, 2011

Addressing a gathering of students in Tehran, Khamenei said: “Today America has been defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq and it has no choice but [to] leave these two countries. And it has also been defeated in North Africa.” (


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

October 23, 2011

[Excerpt from CNN interview with Ahmadinejad]:

Fareed Zakaria: President Obama has said that all American troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year. In light of this announcement, will your government increase its efforts to train the Iraqi army, since there will be a need in Iraq for training and support. Will the Iranian government be providing greater support in that area?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: I think this is going to be a very good idea and it should have been done sooner, maybe seven or eight years ago, and they would avoid killing so many Iraqi people or Americans as well. I think they should have done it much earlier.

But the people in the Iraqi government did not accept the increased presence of the Americans. The Iraqi government is independent and sovereign. They should decide how to provide trainings for the military personnel. We should wait for the decision of the Iraqi government.

FZ: But do you expect that Iran’s engagement and involvement with the Iranian government will now increase as a result of the American withdrawal?

MA: I don’t think there is going to be any change. We have a special relationship with Iraq. There’s a historical relationship between the two governments. We have a very friendly and amicable relationship with the Iraqi people.

Although there was a war between the two nations under Saddam Hussein, but that was not able to disturb this relationship. (CNN)


Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi

October 30, 2011

Referring to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s remarks that Iran should refrain from meddling in Iraq following the American troop withdrawal, Vahidi said the “occupiers of Iraq” have been forced to leave the country and that their “meddlesome remarks stem from their deep fear of seeing the two nations (Iraq and Iran) united.” (Press TV [English-language, state media agency])

November 2, 2011

“Proposing to strengthen [the] American military presence in the Persian Gulf [by Washington] is out of desperation and [is being proposed] only to compensate for the defeat resulting from its pullout from Iraq.” (Press TV)


Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Hassan Firouzabadi

October 26, 2011

“The American soldiers had no other choice than to leave Iraq, and this is the beginning of all American forces withdrawing from the region and the people’s intolerance of these ambassadors of death, colonialism, and plundering.”

“Even if the Americans retreat from Iraq and Afghanistan, their problems will not be pushed aside, and the American people will force their government to retreat from the region completely and permanently.” (Javan Online [affiliated with IRGC Political Bureau])


IRGC deputy commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami

November 1, 2011

“There is no [longer] any secure place for the U.S. and its puppets and allies…They do not dare to be present in the Islamic territories and they are forced to travel secretly.” (Mehr News [state media agency, owned by the Islamic Propagation Office])


Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani

October 24, 2011

“The Americans must not believe that they can deceive the people of Iraq…. Some have warned that the American pull-out will perhaps create security problems, but the problem with this is that the occupation and terrorism help one another. When the occupation came into being, terrorism was attracted [to the region].”

“If the Americans leave Iraq, the problem of terrorism will be solved, and the people of Iraq can assault terrorism with one fist.” (Javan Online [affiliated with IRGC Political Bureau])


Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

October 31, 2011

Salehi told reporters in Baghdad following a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari: “Iraq does not need anyone to meddle in its internal affairs. Iraqis know better than anyone else how to run their country.”

Asked about reports of U.S. plans to station more troops in the Middle East, Salehi said, “The Americans always have a deficit, unfortunately, in rationality and prudence.”

“So what I expect is that it is about time for the Americans to be more provident, to be more prudent and wise in their approach, because the region is really going into troubles, and … the consequences of these developments are not yet known to anybody. So one has to be cautious. Everybody has to be cautious, including the U.S.” (Associated Press)


Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast

October 24, 2011

[Quoting Fars News Agency report]: “Speaking to Iran’s state-run TV, Mehmanparast said the US decided to pull out its troops from Iraq due to the resistance and opposition of the country’s people, government and religious authorities, otherwise it would never retreat from Iraq and the region.

“If the US could deploy its troops in several parts of the world, it would not withdraw from Iraq…. But now it has no more room to continue its presence neither in Iraq, nor in the entire region due to the growing spread of Islamic awakening among nations.” (Fars News Agency [affiliated with the IRGC])


Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah

October 25, 2011

[Quoting Press TV Report]: “Hassan Nasrallah has described the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq as a historic defeat for the US and a true victory for Iraqis.”

“In a televised interview, Nasrallah said on Monday that Iraqis owe this remarkable achievement to the resistance groups, adding that US troops would have stayed in the country if they had felt secure.”

“He also compared US pullout from Iraq to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon.” (Press TV [English-language, state media agency])


Statement from Iran’s IRGC Basij Forces

October 26, 2011

[Quoting Fars News Agency’s press release]: “Iran’s Basij forces…welcomed the US announcement on its pullout from Iraq, saying that the US has no way out but to retreat from the region as the Middle-East has become an exhibition of its failures.”

[Statement text] ‘The great Islamic Middle-East has been shaped and this sensitive and strategic region has turned into an exhibition of the US and its allies’ failures and defeats.’

“Basij forces in their statement described the formation of the great Islamic Middle-East as a good opportunity for the Muslim leaders and politicians to distance themselves from bankrupt powers and clean the stain of dependence on the world arrogance [the United States] from their face.” (Fars News Agency [affiliated with the IRGC])

Statement signed by 240 of 290 Iranian representatives of parliament

October 25, 2011

“The graph of the power of the U.S. shows a descending trend, and, with the failure of the policies of this superpower in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, despite hundreds of billion dollars being spent, crisis has engulfed the U.S. society, and today we are witnessing the Wall Street movement, which is the loud voice of the protest of the people of the United States against the unjust governing system of the country.” (Tehran Times [English-language, state media agency])


Media Report by Al Ahd TV

October 31, 2011

Announcer-read report over video: “The Islamic resistance [group] has inflicted painful blows on the occupation bases and equipment in order to make the occupation subject to the Iraqi people’s will, force it to withdraw from the land of the holy sites, and admit complete defeat. The Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq [Iranian proxy militia] claimed responsibility for damaging a US occupation tanker in Shu’lat al-Sadrayn area, northeastern Baghdad, and launching four Grad rockets at Al-Dujayl Base, affiliated with the occupation forces.” (Al Ahd TV [supportive of Sadr Trend, Iranian proxy in Iraq, satellite channel based in Baghdad])


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