TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's supreme leader says the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq more quickly than planned because any delay is harmful to the country.
Iranian state television has quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei telling visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Saturday that U.S. plans for a "long stay" in Iraq are detrimental to the Iraqi people.
President Barack Obama said Friday that the U.S. will pull all combat troops out of Iraq by August 2010 and plans to withdraw all remaining soldiers by the end of the following year.
Iran has described the U.S. military presence as the main cause of Iraq's problems and has repeatedly called for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Iran views the American presence as a threat to its own security and regional influence.