Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi dismissed as untrue a recent report published by The New York Times claiming that hundreds of pages of purported Iranian intelligence documents show details of “Iran’s massive influence in neighboring Iraq”.
Initial examinations do not confirm the authenticity of the alleged documents, Mousavi told reporters during his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday.
“We do not have anything secret in Iraq,” he said, adding, “We have very good relations with Iraq.”
“When Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) invaded Iraq, Iran helped it at the request of the official Iraqi government,” the spokesman noted.
“We were the first country that responded to the Iraqi government’s request,” Mousavi went on to say.
Last Monday, The New York Times and The Intercept, in a joint article, said, “Hundreds of pages of purported Iranian intelligence documents have come to light that detail Iran’s massive influence in neighboring Iraq.”
“The unprecedented leak of 700 pages of what appears to be Iranian intelligence cables shows Tehran’s efforts to embed itself in Iraq and co-opt the country’s leaders, including paying Iraqi agents working for the United States to switch sides and infiltrate every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic and religious life,” they said.
Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for the fight against the militants, led to the collapse of Daesh.
Iran is known as the first country to help the Arab country and has always voiced support for Iraq’s solidarity and prosperity.