In this April 17, 2017 file photo, U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division fire artillery in support of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants from their base east of Mosul. (AP File photo)
TEHRAN, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that Iraq should consider the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from the country, Financial Tribune daily reported.
"The presence of American military forces in regional states is to the detriment of these countries and the people in the region, so the Iraqi government needs to take action to urge Americans to pull out their troops from Iraq as soon as possible," said Khamenei during his meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
"If the U.S. forces are entrenched in Iraq, it will become difficult to dislodge them in the long run," he explained.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi prime minister praised Iran for standing by Iraq in hard times including during the battle against the terrorist groups.
Abdul Mahdi arrived in Iran's capital Tehran on Saturday to discuss bilateral ties with the Iranian officials.