TEHRAN, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Iran has not sent military forces to Iraq, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Wednesday, denying the presence of any Iranian military official in the crisis-torn Arab state.
"As the Iraqi ambassador to Tehran emphasized, none of Iranian military officials are in Iraq, and the claims concerning the presence of Iranian military forces in the country are not true," Afkham said in her weekly press briefing.
She also said the claims about Iran's intervention in Iraq are "propaganda and aimed at weakening the Iraqi government."
On Tuesday, the Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Majid Al-Sheikh denied the presence of Iran's military forces as well as Iranian military commanders in Iraq, saying Iraq "will never accept any help from foreigners...and we are ready to defend the country by ourselves."
Hundreds of people held a rally in the capital Tehran on Tuesday to express their discontent with the ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq, Press TV reported.
The angry crowds shouted their readiness to go to Iraq, and to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) so as to defend Shiite holy shrines in the county.
Iran said that it will not send military forces to help the Iraqi government in its fight against the ISIL, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently said Iran would do everything to protect Muslim Shiite shrines in the Middle East country.
Asked whether the two countries will cooperate militarily to encounter the Sunni militants, Afkham said: "So far, Iraq has not asked Iran (for such a cooperation). If there is a request, Iran will decide on that based on its mutual relations with Iraq and within the framework of international regulations."
The situation in Iraq is improving, she said, adding that this is because of interaction among different Iraqi political groups in fighting "terrorism."
International community should also observe its responsibility vis-a-vis Iraq so that democracy could be established in the country and in the region, the Iranian foreign ministry official added.
Head of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi called on Wednesday for the crackdown on the Iraqi rebels, saying that serious confrontation with the "terrorists" is the best solution to Iraq crisis, official IRNA news agency reported.
Following recent developments in Iraq, Iranian officials said the Islamic republic has boosted security measures along its borders with Iraq.
An Iranian police official on Wednesday denied that the Iraqi militants were behind a deadly attack on Tuesday against Iranian security forces near Iraqi border, according to semi-official Mehr news agency.
In the attack on the western part of Iran-Iraq border area, three Iranian security guards were killed, semi-official Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.
Over the past two weeks, Iraq sees a deteriorating security situation, while the Sunni militants have scored sweeping victories across the country's northern and western parts, seizing several key cities, including Mosul, the country's second largest city.
U.S. President Barack Obama ordered last week to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the country's security forces in their fight against the offensive of the Sunni militants.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday his country is strongly against any U.S. intervention in Iraq's internal affairs, and believes that the Iraqi people, the government and the country's religious leaders are able to end the violence by themselves.
The intensifying fight, with ever stronger sectarian overtones, is raising fears that the violence might push the country towards a full-blown civil war.