No need for foreign forces in Iraq’s Kirkuk: Iranian general

Tasnim – Iraqi troops have taken control of the city of Kirkuk and can handle the situation there single-handedly, a top Iranian general said.

Speaking at a conference in Tehran on Wednesday, President of the Supreme National Defense University of Iran General Ahmad Vahidi rejected the need for the presence of non-Iraqi forces in the city of Kirkuk.

The Iraqi army has taken control of Kirkuk and there is no need for the presence of foreign forces in that Iraqi city, the Iranian general said.

The federal government in Baghdad said on Monday that Iraqi security forces had captured the governorate building in the center of Kirkuk following a major advance on Kurdish-held territories.

The advance was part of a major operation to retake the oil-rich province, amid an escalating dispute in the wake of a controversial September 25 referendum on Kurdish secession that Baghdad had declared illegal.

In comments on Tuesday, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior member of Iran’s Expediency Council, dismissed the notion that Tehran may have assisted the Baghdad government in taking control of Kirkuk.

“Iran has no role in the Kirkuk operation,” Velayati underlined.