Iraqi PM warns Iran as he finishes US trip

Iraqi PM Haider al Abadi receives support but no new weapons in US visit, warns Iran to respect Iraqi government's authority while intervening in fight against ISIS

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi is finishing his United States visit with promises of American support in fight against ISIS but without a deal for new military equipment.

Abadi met U.S. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other high ranking government officials from the House and Senate during his three day visit.

In his first stop at the White House Tuesday, Obama promised an additional $200 million humanitarian aid to help Iraqi people but refrained from committing to any additional military aid.

Iraqi government forces backed by U.S. air strikes and Iranian backed militias retook city of Tikrit from ISIS, who captured the city last year during a June offensive which gave the group control of large swaths of territory in north and east of Iraq.

Iranian involvement in Iraq was one of the main points in the Abadi’s talks with the U.S. officials as both sides expressed their distaste for it.

“Everything must be done through the government of Iraq,” Abadi said Thursday, warning Iran about any unauthorized involvement, speaking in a think tank in Washington.

“I very much distaste what's been happening. I've been talking to the Iranians about it,” Abadi said when he was asked about the circulated pictures of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force, an elite unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, giving tactics to Shiite militias in Iraq.

President Obama had also warned Iran to respect Iraqi government’s sovereignty saying, “Foreign assistance that is helping to defeat ISIL has to go through the Iraqi government.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Iraqi Minister of Defense Khalid Al-Obeidi also met in Washington to discuss the military cooperation between the countries, however, there was no commitment on the American side for new weapons, as “The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL,” in a Pentagon statement.

Pentagon said: “As of Mar. 26, 2015, the total cost of operations related to ISIL since kinetic operations started on Aug. 8, 2014, is $1.96 billion and the average daily cost is $8.5 million.”

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Abadi denied new weapons request from U.S. government saying “we don’t have a list.”

Abadi also made comments about the regional issues in the Middle East.

“No logic to the operation at all in the first place,” Abadi said Wednesday, speaking about the Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, according to The New York Times.

However, he later softened his tone Thursday saying “My intention is not to criticize anybody.”

Abadi said the compound for a Saudi embassy in Baghdad is “ready and renovated," he would welcome the new Saudi envoy, which was appointed by the kingdom Wednesday.

After finishing his diplomatic meetings, Abadi is expected to return to Iraq Friday.

TRTWorld and agencies