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Hook Says Soleimani’s Death Helps Iraqis Limit Iranian Influence

Hook Says Soleimani’s Death Helps Iraqis Limit Iranian Influence

Saturday, 23 May, 2020 - 05:00
FILE PHOTO: Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran, speaks at a news conference in London, Britain June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Washington - Asharq Al-Awsat

US Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook has said that the killing of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in a US strike near Baghdad airport earlier this year has giving Iraq a chance to come out of the sphere of Iranian influence.

Hook made his remark in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine published Thursday.

Asked about the priorities that the US administration will ask from Iraq during talks it is expected to hold in June with the new Iraqi government, Hook said: “The Iranian regime since the time of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has the desire to dominate all governments in the Middle East. Our policy is to reverse Iran’s influence across the Middle East.”

“I think there’s a lot of support for that among the Iraqi people. And one of the things the prime minister will be focused on, I think, is reclaiming Iraq’s sovereignty from Iranian interference,” he told his interviewer.

“I think the death of Qassem Soleimani presents a better environment for the Iraqi people to have a government that represents their interests and not the interests of the Iranian regime,” he added.

Hook told Foreign Policy that the US believes that the Iranian people wish for a regime change. And that was obvious in protests that erupted last November.

He said there was not a single protest against President Donald Trump or against US sanctions because the Iranian people know who is responsible for their economic problems.

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