Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Dec. 16 Irans former President and strongman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday described Thursdays elections in Iraq as a victory for the Islamic Republic.
Tehran, Iran, Dec. 16 Irans former President and strongman Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday described Thursdays elections in Iraq as a victory for the Islamic Republic.
Rafsanjani, who currently chairs the State Expediency Council, said that the elections were completely contrary to the expectations of the United States.
We share this victory with the Iraqi nation since we paid a heavy price to lay the groundwork for the elections. It is a victory because the results were the opposite of what the Americans were seeking, he told Friday prayers worshippers in Tehran, adding that the Islamic Republic had known right from the start that the U.S. would be stuck in mud inside the Middle East.
Rafsanjani, a founding figure of Irans 1979 Islamic Revolution, said that clerics in the holy city of Najaf played a vital role in securing the U.S. defeat.
He, however, rejected U.S. statements of Iranian meddling in Iraq.
Earlier this month, the powerful cleric told an international trade management show that Iran had come out as the winner in the United States-led war on Iraq and Washington had ended up as the loser.
Rafsanjani said that Washington had set its sights on Tehran, but it never thought that the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan would be to Irans advantage and to its own loss.
All the recent events in the region, including the meddling by the West and America in Afghanistan and Iraq, were in the end to Irans advantage.
Our soil is such that it can use extra-territorial invasions in the farthest regions to our benefit, he said.
He added that Tehran could have benefited more from the war if its management had been more active in the scene. Nonetheless, he added, Iraq and Afghanistan would be good regional partners for Iran.