Iran's Khamenei tells Maliki, US promises can not be trusted
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against a pact with the United States, the official IRNA news agency reported.
"Americans do not have a real friendship even with their close allies in the region so their promises should not and cannot be trusted," Khamenei told Maliki, who was on a two-day visit to Tehran.
"The presence of US and British forces in Iraq is the main source of terrorism and internal disputes," he added.
"One of the United States' main objectives is to create a base for a long term presence and rule in the region," the leader was quoted as saying.
He added "that the Iraqi government needed to prove it will not retreat from Iraqis national interests with the enemy's intimidation and threats."
Maliki hoped Iran would help rebuild his occupation-torn country by boosting economic ties.
"We agreed to set up a joint service contract company with Iran... when Iraq witnesses stability and when the national unity government starts the reconstruction," the Iraqi premier told reporters as he wrapped up the visit.
"I personally hope that trade ties between the two countries will focus on quicker reconstruction and progress," in Iraq, Maliki added.
Iraq and Iran also agreed to establish a high-ranking joint committee to pursue bolstering economic ties between the two neighbours, Maliki said.
The committee will be headed by Iraqi Commerce Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, he added.
The Iraqi premier's trip was initially scheduled for late December.
Agencies Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2009, 12:24