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  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2020.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R) in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 January 2020 (12 hours 25 minutes ago)
Opinion

The Trump administration fuels tensions in the Middle East by imposing new economic sanctions against Iran and refusing to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

The United States government Friday announced new economic sanctions against Iran's officials and companies in response to the attack with ballistic missiles at two bases with U.S. troops.

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"These sanctions will continue until the regime stops the financing of global terrorism and commits to never having nuclear weapons," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The new punishments will affect eight senior Persian officials who were supposedly involved in the attack. One of them is Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani.

The U.S. measures are also targeting the country's largest producers of steel, iron, and copper.

Over the last two weeks, President Donald Trump increased the military tension between the U.S. and Iran when he ordered the assassination of the Persian General Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3.

In response to that decision, Iran launched missiles against the U.S. bases in Iraq on Jan. 8, which was a reason for Trump to vowed on Wednesday to impose additional sanctions.

In an event related to the above, Iraq's Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi denounced, during a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held on Thursday night, the unauthorized entry of the U.S. troops and drones into his country.

"U.S. forces are entering Iraq and drones fly without permission from the Iraqi government, which is contrary to the agreements signed," Abdul-Mahdi said in a statement issued on Friday morning.

The Iraqi official also asked Washington to send its representatives to establish a mechanism for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Arab country.

On January 5, the Iraqi Legislature approved a motion requesting the end of the presence of any foreign military force in the country and canceling the request for help from the U.S.-led international coalition to fight the Jihadist Islamic State.

In response to the Iraqi request, the Trump administration reiterated on Friday that the U.S. troops will not leave Iraq as their presence is "appropriate."

"The United States is a force for good in the Middle East," the State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

"There does​​​​​​, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership."

Tags

U.S. Iraq Iran
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