The United States said on Tuesday that creating a conducive environment for elections in Iraq later this year includes tackling Iran-backed militias, Iran's destabilizing activities in the country and remaining Islamic State elements.
Acting US Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills told a UN Security Council meeting on Iraq that one of the highest barriers to creating a conducive environment for credible, peaceful and inclusive elections "is the presence of armed militias, violent extremists and spoilers."
"A conducive environment means that we must address Iran-backed militias and Iran's destabilizing activities in Iraq, as well as the remaining ISIS (Islamic State) elements," Mills told the 15-member council.
"These groups undermine the public's trust in the government, and in the October 2021 elections. They're killing Iraqi citizens and depriving Iraq of much-needed economic relief and foreign investment. No one is immune," he said.