US State Department orders all non-essential government personnel to leave Iraq

18 May, 2019, 03:45 | Author: Wade Massey
  • US National Security Advisor John Bolton insists Iran is planning to attack US assets in the Middle East

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it is not. It is believed tensions between Iran and the USA were a "hot topic" in Tuesday's National Security Council meeting.

According to a BBC Arabic report, Pompeo handed over a memory stick to Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi containing evidence of Iran's plans to attack USA interests in Iraq through its proxies in the country.

That is not enough to invade Iran but is enough for an attack from outside its borders.

"We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country", Mr Pompeo said after meeting Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. "There must be an Arab role in any framework of future agreement with Iran". "We have exercised maximum restraints", he said during a visit in Japan.

The evacuation order, also covering the U.S. consulate in Arbil, came 10 days after the Pentagon deployed an aircraft carrier task force and B-52 bombers to the Gulf to fend off an unspecified alleged plot by Tehran to attack USA forces or allies. Amid rising tensions with Iran, Bolton said the decision was "in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings". With more than 5,000 US soldiers deployed in Iraq and the largest USA embassy in the world in Baghdad, as well as various economic interests in the country including ExxonMobil oil revenue, the United States is also vulnerable.

Khamenei told Iranian officials the standoff "is not military because there is not going to be any war".

Iraq's status as an area of shared influence between Iran and the United States leaves the country's leaders with few options.

State Department orders evacuation of non-emergency USA government employees from Iraq
This US isolation comes as the Trump Administration accused Iran of supporting "imminent attacks" on US personnel in the region. A senior European diplomat voiced skepticism that Trump's "maximum pressure" strategy would force Iran to capitulate.


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Yet the infrastructure that Iran has built in Iraq over the past years has provided it with exceptional leverage.

He also went on to say that the intention of the United States is to put pressure on the Iranian leadership.

On Instagram, an account linked to Maj.

Iran denied involvement, though it has repeatedly threatened to block the strait, through which streams about a fifth of world's oil shipments, if the United States tries to stop Iran from exporting oil. "Therefore we refuse any use of our territories because this poses as a violation of our sovereignty".

Azari added that Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which is a close ally of Tehran, will confront any attempt to attack Iraq's neighbors from Iraqi soil "with all possible means".

Other senior officials within the United States administration itself as well as other countries have however dismissed that claim.

And he maintains that the USA wants to stop Iran from constructing a nuclear weapon. "This threat stream, let me tell you, is real", he added, comparing it to the situation in 2011 in Iraq when USA installations were under direct attack.

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