October 23rd, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Clinton warns Iran against moving into Iraq

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran on Sunday not to view the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq as an opportunity to try to build its influence in the country.

"No one, most particularly Iran, should miscalculate about our continuing commitment to and with the Iraqis going forward," she told CNN's "State of the Union" when asked whether Iran's relationship with Iraq is a concern.

In an interview last week with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country will not increase its involvement with Iraq because of the U.S. withdrawal. "I don't think there is going to be any change," he said.

Zakaria asked whether Iran will increase its efforts to train the Iraqi army, and whether Iran will provide greater support with training.

"I think this is going to be a very good idea, and we should have done it sooner, maybe seven or eight years ago, and they would avoid killing so many Iraqi people or Americans, as well. I think they should have done it much earlier," Ahmadinejad responded, although it was not fully clear what he was referring to.

"But the people in the Iraqi government did not accept the increased presence of the Americans. The Iraqi government is independent and sovereign. They should decide how to provide trainings for their military personnel. We should wait for the decision of the Iraqi government."

U.S. President Barack Obama announced last week that virtually all U.S. troops will come home from Iraq by the end of the year.

Clinton, speaking to CNN from Uzbekistan, emphasized that the United States will continue a training mission in Iraq, as it has with some other countries. "What we will not have are combat troops and bases," she said. The United States will also have "a very robust diplomatic presence," as envisioned in agreements dating back to the previous administration of President George W. Bush, she said.

"Iran would be badly miscalculating if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries in the region, both in bases, in training with NATO allies like Turkey. So I'm used to the president of Iran saying all kinds of things, but I think it's important to set the record straight."

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, assailed the U.S. withdrawal.

"I think it's a serious mistake. And there was never really serious negotiations between the administration and the Iraqis," he said on ABC's "This Week." "They could have clearly made an arrangement for U.S. troops."

Speaking from Jordan, McCain complained that the withdrawal plan "is viewed in the region as a victory for the Iranians. And I don't think there's any doubt there is." He added, "I'm very, very concerned about increased Iranian influence in Iraq."

"I think the fact that we have other bases in the region would have very little impact on Iraq itself," McCain said.

He cited Muqtada al-Sadr, the influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, as a potential conduit for Iranian influence, and said he believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is "leaning more and more toward alliances" with Iran.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- South Carolina, who also serves on the Armed Services Committee, told "Fox News Sunday" that he believes Obama has "made poor, dangerous policy questions at the strategic level when it comes to Iraq."

Rejecting Clinton's remark on the same program that Obama has exhibited "smart leadership in a complex world," Graham said he believes that "Iraq and Afghanistan are being run out of Chicago, not Washington, in terms of decisions," an apparent reference to Obama's re-election campaign, which is being run out of Chicago.

Graham added, "not able to close the deal in Iraq is a serious mistake. Celebrating leaving with no troops behind is a serious mistake."

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Filed under: Clinton • Iran • Iraq
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. iIjWtSEl

    143853 599652The digital cigarette makes use of a battery and a small heating element the vaporize the e-liquid. This vapor can then be inhaled and exhaled 373618

    July 31, 2013 at 6:26 am | Reply
  2. Russ

    The Saudis will never let Iran dominate Iraq. Especially with the Sunni presence in Iraq. I'm sure the Saudis are secretly arming the Sunnis right now. Then there are the Kurds who benefited greatly from the invasion. I doubt they will let Iran get in their face without a price.Then there are the US bases in Kuwait, Turkey and the possible use of Jordan. Then you have Assad in Syria,Iran' ally; with the opposition starting to arm themselves.I think he's going down. I don't think Iran is as threatening as people are making them out to be with all the different scenarios. If they go in. They'll get bloodied too!!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  3. Mr. Death

    NUCLEAR WAR NOW!!! KILLE EVERYONE!

    October 26, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  4. Noway

    Rupublicans look like they are just talking, and in reality they are not willing to deal with the real problem.The American people are tired of WMD and Iraq. There are thousands of problems we have to deal at home.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Noway

      Correction...Republicans!

      October 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  5. thetruthhurtz

    tThis sounds like the whole WEAPON OF MAS DESTRUCTION CRAP allover again !!!!!!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  6. Dean Havens

    Man, it’s tough being a Muslim. Everyday I have to carry around an AK47. Do you have any idea how heavy it gets, not to mention all that extra ammo weight really hurts my back. Then I have to make IED’s and handle all those dangerous explosives. You have no idea how dangerous that is to me. Why, I could get hurt. Being devout, I have to pray five times a day and I have arthritis in both knees and one elbow caused by shrapnel from my botched suicide mission. The knee bending causes me so much pain that I have become addicted to pain killers and I may have to enter rehab. And all the antibiotics i have to take to treat my STDs i contracted from having unprotected sex with my goat. Do you now how the sweat from wearing shahid explosive vest in 100 degree heat irritates my skin ? Then there are so many honor killings to take care of. I had to off my sister for talking to a boy and my auntie for leaving the house without me or one of my three male cousin’s muhammad, muhammad or muhammad . All our street riots to protest the people who are against our jihad operations are so very tiresome and they seem to go on forever. I just stay wore to a frazzle because it never ends! You infidels are so lucky because, it’s tough being a Muslim.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • PJRG

      Is that a song?

      October 26, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply
  7. Dean Havens

    Ayatollah Khamenei is a religious bigot and a viable nut case. To base a country's leadership on a "religious" islamist opiate is ridiculous. Ahmadinejad's position will be phased out in the next few years but he will not be replaced with anyone positive of mind. Iran seems to be doomed forever.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:21 am | Reply
  8. ban the koran

    mohamed (sucks cocks in hell) the prophet said "how much for the little girl"

    we should make an agreement with china india russia and europe to kill every fuckin moo slimes and take over mid east oil. europe can have egypt and lybia, us gets saudi, russia takes iraq and syria, china gets iran and afghanistan, india gets pakistan.....we kill all the moon gods worshippers and rid the world of the evil islamic scum once and for all

    for 1200 years Islam has waged war on every civlized nation of the planet...........ITS PAYBACK TIME

    fuck mohamed...mohamed scuks cocks in hell...allah eats dogshit ...ban the koran nuke mecca

    October 26, 2011 at 6:57 am | Reply
    • Dean Havens

      I completely agree, except no Russia, it's even more evil than Islam.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Sanity

      You are everything wrong with America. Just thought I'd let you know.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  9. paul1121

    The only thing the people of the Middle East understand is a good slap up side the head. Cant talk to them, cant reason with them...all because of their tribal, clanish pride.

    Example, when the Iranians took over the American embassy back in the 70's, Pres Jimmy Carter tried to reason with the Iranian government to return the hostages, tried to negotiate...talk peace...try to suck custard together...ahh... And the Iranians just lead him around the tree by his nose all they want. When Reagon got elected, he gave the Iranians an ultimatum...return the hostages or Tehran will be a parking lot. Not long after he was elected, suprise, suprise, the hostages were let free.

    I know, Iran/Contra, Ollie North, the failed raid to free the hostages that crashed and burned in the desert; they were also attempts to free the hostages in one way or another but failed as most of you know.

    Again, a slap up side the head and a kick in the nads will gat more out of them than negotiating.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:43 am | Reply
  10. Ted Ward

    I hardly think Hillary's remarks of "Hands off" will have any effect on the Iranian government. After all the Iranians have already fairly directly killed hundreds of American GI's with their shaped charge munitions supplied to their people in Iraq. The Iranians are habituated to killing americans. Wake up. Let's not underestimate the murderous and foolish violent madness of the Iranian government.

    October 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  11. markjuliansmith

    "in training with NATO allies like Turkey"

    This is not a warning to Iran but a comforting statement as I am not sure Clinton has noticed the obvious Turkeys secular power is now in the hands of Islam which means pro Islamic State support – as we have seen in terms of Turkeys change to overtly support Islamic Iran.

    Really believing Islamic Turkey will attack Islamic Iran if Iran oversteps the mark – which it has done anyway repeatedly without proper censure given such public support shows clearly someone has not read the foundation text.

    October 25, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  12. pilot1

    Dont just warn !!!! Kill these muslim motherfuckers !!!! Kill them all ! Sharia loving piece of shit motherfuckers !!!!!

    October 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • STEVE RAMSEY ALBERTA

      YES I AGREE KILL THE IRANIANS MOTHER FUCKERS AND THE SHIIA ALL ARE TERRORISTS BASTERED CALLED WELD AL MOT3A, IRAN KILLED MANY USA ARMY PEROSSONAL AND USA DIDNT DO A SHIT. FINISH IRAN ONCE AFTER ALL AND THEN KKK AFTER THAT AND THE RED NECK NEW NAZI BASTERED.
      DR STEVE RAMSEY
      ALBERTA- CANADA

      October 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • John

      Don't u know God see and hear u.

      October 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  13. Ninoos

    Iran has already taken over Iraq. 65% of all Iraqies are Shiite.Say what?

    October 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  14. armin

    Iran warns Clinton: Go suck a dick you nasty cunt, you people raped Iraq more than we ever could.

    October 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  15. James

    at least the Libyans arent going to fall victim to Sharia law – oh wait, I think they just announced that they are immediately implementing Sharia law... how ironic..

    October 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  16. James

    Why would Sec Clinton need to make this statement? Ed Schultz said that the ffear of Iran taking over Iraq was just right wing fear mongering... there should be no need to make any statements to Iran if the threat of a Shia take over is just a fantasy created by Rush and Sean... right?!?!

    October 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  17. harmonynoyes

    instigating wars?
    how jewish of you

    October 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • the owl

      You are a f'n racist bigot !
      What does being Jewish have to do with this article?
      You truly are just an ass, that has no business posting anything on this site.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • John

        Don't u see, each time us go to war, Iran wins, may be the best course for us is to not creat anymore wars

        October 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • thetruthhurtz

      Everything is to please them ...when they infact are the occuopiers of the region and wage war for the growth of zionism .

      October 26, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply

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