U.S. Pulls Some Non-Essential Staff Members from Iraq Over Iranian Threats

  • On Wednesday, the United States removed its non-essential staff members from Iraq over rising tensions in the area and alleged threats leveled at the U.S. by Iran.
  • A State Department spokesperson said: “Ensuring the safety of U.S. government personnel and citizens is our highest priority…and we want to reduce the risk of harm.”
  • The Trump administration alleges that Iran has made threats against the U.S., including damaging four commercial ships near the UAE carrying oil tankers on Sunday as a way to hurt U.S. interests. In response, the U.S. has sent warships to the area.
  • Bad blood between the U.S. and Iran has increased since the U.S. ended exemptions for countries that purchase Iranian oil as way to punish the country. Iran announced it wouldn’t curb its nuclear program the way it agreed to in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
  • In 2018, President Trump withdrew from the deal and placed fresh sanctions on Iran.
  • Iran has called the increased U.S. pressure “psychological warfare.”
  • A high-ranking British general said “there was no new threat from Iran or its regional proxies,” which the U.S. disagrees with.
  • The U.S. and Iran have both said they do not want to go to war.

Reference Links

  • AP: US pulls nonessential staff from Iraq amid Mideast tensions READ
  • CNBC: US pulls some government employees from Iraq READ
  • Reuters: U.S. pulls staff from Iraq amid concerns over Iran READ

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