Iraq wants US troops out, US wants to impose sanctions

On Sunday, the Iraqi parliament called on the United States and other foreign forces to leave the country, as the backlash against the killing of Soleimani is intensifying. Moreover, Donald Trump doubled the number of threats against Iranian cultural sites in the event of Tehran’s retaliation.

Iranian government minister called Trump “a terrorist in a suit” after the US president posted a series of posts on Twitter on Saturday, threatening to hit 52 Iranian sites, including those that carry value to the Iranian culture if Tehran attacks American assets to avenge Soleimani.

Democrats said Trump recklessly sanctioned a strike. It was also said that his comments on targeting cultural objects are tantamount to threats of war crimes. Republicans in Congress generally supported the Trump movement.

Trump also threatened sanctions against Iraq and said that if US forces needed to leave the country, the Iraqi government would be obliged to pay Washington for the cost of the “overly expensive” airbase located there.

Trump said that if Iraq expels American troops, his state will “impose sanctions on Iraq that it has never seen before. Against this background, even Iranian sanctions will look boring”.

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution calling for an end to the entire presence of foreign troops, reflecting Iraqi fears that Friday’s strike could unleash a new war between the two larger powers that are at war with each other in Iraq and the entire region.

The Sunday parliamentary resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by Shiite lawmakers, as most Sunni Muslim and Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the special session. One Sunni parliamentarian told Reuters that both groups fear that ousting US-led forces would make Iraq vulnerable to rebels, undermine security, and strengthen the power of Iran-supported Shiite militants.

The E3 group of countries, which includes France, Great Britain and Germany, called on Iran to refrain from any violent actions and urged it to return to compliance with the agreements set out in the 2015 nuclear energy agreement with world powers.

However, many politicians spoke negatively about Trump’s statements. So, according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, threatening Iraq with sanctions is “not very practical and useful.” He added that Germany, Britain and France will discuss a nuclear agreement with Iran on Monday and will respond to Tehran’s recent statements this week.


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