By Kyle Balluck - 06/22/14 08:02 AM EDT
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday said he was “strongly opposed” to the intervention of the United States and other countries in Iraq.
"We don’t approve of it, as we believe the Iraqi government, nation and religious authorities are capable of ending the sedition,” Khamenei said, according to Reuters, which quoted Iran’s official IRNA news agency. “And God willing, they will do so."
President Obama last week announced that he is sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to bolster government security forces and help establish joint operations centers to combat Sunni extremists.
The move highlights the administration’s dependence on the Iraq’s government and military to stop the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has taken over key cities.
Obama administration officials, however, are reportedly urging Iraqi political leaders to replace Prime Minister Nouri-al Maliki.
In Washington, there appears to be bipartisan support to get rid of al-Maliki.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are among a number of lawmakers who have said the situation in Iraq can’t be resolved until al-Maliki steps down.
But White House spokesman Jay Carney last Wednesday said Iraq's leadership wasn't up to the United States.
"That's not obviously for us to decide," he said when asked whether al-Maliki should step down.
--Justin Sink, Kristina Wong and Rebecca Shabad contributed to this report.