US, stooges oppose Iraq independence, unity: Ayatollah Khamenei

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He also referred to opposition of the United States and its followers to Hashd al-Shaabi popular group and deemed it a result of their malevolence towards authority of Iraq.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned against placing trust in the United States, saying Washington is against Iraq's independence and unity.

"Do not trust the Americans at all because they seek an opportunity to strike their blow", the Leader stated.

The Iranian leaders' comments highlight the balancing act faced by Abadi as he strives to hold together a coalition of forces fighting IS in Iraq, including the Iraqi government's own soldiers, the Shi'ite militias as well as Sunni tribal forces and Kurdish peshmerga forces, all backed by USA trainers and special forces.

At a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Tehran, Khamenei said the Shi'ite militias are the main forces pushing back against the Sunni extremist group in Iraq, and Baghdad should not trust the United States, Iranian state media reported.

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"The Americans are against Popular Forces because they want Iraq to lose its main source of strength", he added.

At the end of his day-long stay in Tehran, the Iraqi premier will set off for Kuwait to meet with the country's senior officials.

During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri, the Iraqi prime minister commended Iran's support for his country in the fight against Daesh.

In conclusion, Leader of Revolution expressed hope that the Iraqi government will overcome challenges and called for thorough empowerment of the government and also stressed expansion of bilateral relations between the two countries as much as possible.

A Tuesday report on Khamenei's website quoted him as telling visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, that Iraq "should remain integrated" and that advocates of Kurdish independence are "opponents of the independence and identity" of Iraq.

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