The United States said onTuesday that creating a conducive environment for elections inIraq later this year includes tackling Iran-backed militias,Iran’s destabilizing activities in the country and remainingIslamic State elements.

Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Millstold a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iraq that one of thehighest barriers to creating a conducive environment forcredible, peaceful and inclusive elections “is the presence ofarmed militias, violent extremists and spoilers.”

“A conducive environment means that we must addressIran-backed militias and Iran’s destabilizing activities inIraq, as well as the remaining ISIS (Islamic State) elements,”Mills told the 15-member council.

“These groups undermine the public’s trust in thegovernment, and in the October 2021 elections. They’re killingIraqi citizens and depriving Iraq of much-needed economic reliefand foreign investment. No one is immune,” he said.

A rocket attack on U.S.-led forces in northern Iraq onMonday killed a civilian contractor and injured a U.S. servicemember. The attack was claimed by a group that some Iraqiofficials say has links with Iran.

The United States has about 2,500 U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Such reckless attempts to inflame tensions pose gravethreats to Iraq’s stability. Close collaboration between Baghdadand Erbil, to bring the culprits to justice, is now of thegreatest importance,” U.N. Iraq special envoy JeanineHennis-Plasschaert told the Security Council on Tuesday.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration pledged to be asteady, reliable partner for Iraq, Mills said.

“Among its top priorities, the United States will seek tohelp Iraq assert its sovereignty in the face of enemies at homeand abroad, by preventing an ISIS resurgence and working towardIraq’s stability,” he said.

“For the United States this means supporting Iraq’s effortsto hold credible inclusive and peaceful elections,” Mills said.

Source » yahoo