Dr. Foad Izadi, an Iranian academic at Tehran University, said in a February 13, 2020 interview on Khorasan Razavi TV (Iran) that one of the indications that a country is strong is its ability to prevent threats from reaching its borders. Giving the example of Iran's presence in Iraq, Dr. Izadi elaborated that it is cheaper for Iran to maintain a presence in Iraq than it is for it to allow another leader like Saddam Hussein to come to power. He said: "Today, people who reach power in Iraq must be acceptable to us."
Dr. Foad Izadi: "If you go to the book market and gather books of strategic studies, you will see that they all have chapters about the regional influence of countries. Why? There are threats all over the world. If you let such a threat reach your border, it is too late. What is a strong country? One of the indicators of strength is a country's ability to prevent the threat from reaching its border. This, too, comes with a price. There was a time when we had no influence in Iraq, and a creature like Saddam took power there and fought us for eight years. Which was higher – the cost of war or the cost of what we are now doing in Iraq? We are now paying a price in Iraq, but the benefit of this expense is that we do not have to worry that someone like Saddam will rise to power there. Today, people who reach power in Iraq must be acceptable to us."