Dubai: On Amanpour, Iraq’s President Barham Salih spoke about a range of issues from growing tensions between the US and Iran to the still apparent threat of Daesh.
During the discussion, the President of Iraq claimed he was ‘happy’ that President Trump cancelled a retaliatory strike on Iran after the nation shot down a US drone. He argued: “There was no military solution to this problem”.
The President also told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the world should not underestimate the still apparent threat of Daesh. Although he acknowledges successes have been made, Salih says “this fight is far from over” and that the problem must be eradicated so we don’t “have to deal with the sons of Daesh”.
“We are truly concerned with the escalation and we are concerned about the ramifications for Iraq. Iraq has been going through hell over the last four decades. [The] latest episode of conflict was the devastating war with Daesh, we want to focus on reconstruction, reconciliation and we want to move on. Yet, we are being bragged back into the dynamics of conflict and I say to all the actors in the region as well as to the global actors that Iraq’s security is important, vital and it should not be underestimated”.
Last week the US cancelled a planned attack on Iran after Tehran shot down a US surveillance aircraft.
“Obviously we are happy that war has been averted. This part of the world has been going through cycles of conflict for so many years, we don’t need another war… There is no military solution to this problem. There are serious problems affecting regional order in the middle east and this is nothing new. We have reached a new heightened state of tension. At the end of the day the parties involved need to sit down together and focus on what is important.”
On Monday, President Donald Trump took aim at what he has described as the real power in Iran, imposing fresh sanctions on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The sanctions imposed on Khamenei on Monday, as well as the previous ones placed on organisations linked to him, are what are known as secondary sanctions - designed to deter American individuals or organisations from conducting business with him by threatening penalties.
Meanwhile, Salih stressed the US troops stationed in Iraq stick to their mission of fighting Daesh.
“The American troops, the coalition troops, in Iraq are there on the invitation of the Iraqi government and for the specific, exclusive mission of fighting Daesh. We do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile actions against any of our neighbours including Iran… The victory against Daesh has been quite significant [but] not to be underestimated. This fight is far from over, we are still engaged, and we need to be careful not to allow Daesh or another manifestation of Daesh come back. Therefore, the collaboration between Iraq and the international coalition continues to ensure this is eradicated”.