The growing tension between the United States and Iran is spread to Iraq


In a repeat of the diplomatic withdrawal that took place a year ago in Basra, the United States ordered the "immediate" departure of all its non-essential diplomatic personnel from the Embassy in Baghdad and from the Consulate in Erbil. "Numerous terrorist groups and insurgents are active in Iraq and regularly attack both the Iraqi security forces and civilians," the State Department said.

This threat of "anti-American sectarian militias" could be extended to "American citizens and Western companies" throughout the country, so Washington opts to withdraw its personnel in the two legations that remain operative and suspend, among others, the service of visas The spokesman of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, Ahmed al-Sahaf, responded with a statement in which he insisted that "the security situation in Iraq is very stable."

The US decision comes in a context of growing tension with Iran and its allied militias in countries such as Iraq and Yemen, which could be behind the "imminent threat of attack" from which Washington alerted a recent intelligence report. Israeli. The Netherlands and Germany, which have soldiers deployed in the country to train the security forces, decided to suspend operations until the situation calms down again.

Yemeni rebels attacked seven Saudi Arabian oil installations with unmanned aircraft on Tuesday. In Iraq operate the Popular Mobilization Units, formed to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the Iraqi Army in the summer of 2014 after the emergence of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). During the fight against the Caliphate their militiamen were the spearhead of the US-led coalition, but after that battle they seem to have become their great nightmare because of their links with the Revolutionary Guard of Iran.

The Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, traveled last week by surprise to Baghdad to try to strengthen his ties with some local authorities that since 2003 live in balance between Washington and Tehran. Pompeo declared that the threat of attacks was "very specific" and asked President Barham Saleh "for Iraq to guarantee that it is able to adequately protect the Americans in his country." Such guarantees would not have arrived and that is why he withdrew his staff from Baghdad and Erbil.

While the focus extends to Yemen and Iraq, the Iranians announced the beginning of the suspension of some of their commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement, the ISNA news agency reported. A source from the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency (AEAI), who did not provide his name, said that the first measures affect "the plans to comply with the limit of production of enriched uranium and heavy water in Arak's facilities" . The Islamic Republic hopes that this measure will force Europe to adopt initiatives that help it to overcome the consequences of the sanctions imposed unilaterally by Donald Trump since a year ago.

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