Baghdad will under no circumstances permit Washington to use airbases on the Iraqi territory for an airstrike on Iran, Iraqi President Barham Salih said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
"We do not want our territory to be a staging post for any hostile action against any of our neighbors, including Iran," CNN quoted Salih as saying. "This is definitely not part of the agreement between the Iraqi government and the United States."
The Iraqi leader reiterated that Baghdad invited the troops of the United States and the anti-terrorism coalition to its territory with only one purpose - to fight the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), TASS reports.
Tensions between Iran and the United States intensified after two tankers caught fire in the Gulf of Oman after an alleged attack on June 13. Washington blamed Tehran for the incident, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia supported the statement. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denied these accusations.
On June 20, the Iranian armed forces shot down a US reconnaissance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) RQ-4. In the wake of the incident the United States according to President Donald Trump prepared a military operation, including pinpoint strikes against three facilities in Iranian territory. Trump said he had called off the operation ten minutes before it was scheduled to happen as disproportionate to Tehran’s actions.