Pompeo makes surprise visit to Iraq

11 May, 2019, 03:56 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Pompeo and DOD There is a Credible Threat From Iran and the U.S. is Preparing Accordingly

"If companies are faced with the choice of continuing to trade with Iran or United States, if they have significant interests in the U.S. that's what they are going to do". Details released by the United States, however, did not make it clear whether he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi during his short visit here.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made an unscheduled, fleeting visit to Iraq, amid growing tensions with Iran.

The visit comes two days after the U.S. announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East to send a "clear and unmistakeable" message to Iran.

Additional details from the news report mention that while flying to Iraq, Pompeo told reporters that his trip was prompted by reports of some escalation in Iranian activity.

Pompeo also said that he wanted to "speak with the leadership (in Iraq), to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation".

Mr Burt added: "The worrying aspect of this is that the Iranian response to American action increases the pressure in the region, increases the risk of accidental confrontation which could lead to something else".

Iran, meanwhile, was expected to announced Wednesday that it would partially withdraw from the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015.

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But Iraq is also tightly enmeshed with Iran in trade, security and political matters, and it has been loath to antagonize its larger neighbour.

Pompeo abruptly cancelled talks in Germany and made a lengthy detour from a European tour to spend four hours in Iraq, where he met both President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi. It also can count on the loyalty of several powerful Iraqi militias, which have fought previously against US forces in the country and on the side of Iran's allies in Syria in that country's civil war.

Iran will resume high-level enrichment of uranium if world powers do not protect its interests against USA sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, responding to the United States withdrawal from a nuclear deal a year ago.

"Iraq is going to need two or three years to achieve self-sufficiency in the field, which will be possible only if big projects are implemented", Al-Khateeb said.

At the same time the U.S. also blacklisted Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, designating it as a foreign terrorist group.

While Trump has sought to dismantle much of President Barack Obama's policies, he particularly criticized the Iran nuclear deal for failing to address Tehran's ballistic missile program and what he described as its malign influence across the rest of the Mideast.

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