Pompeo arrives in Baghdad on unannounced visit

Pompeo arrives in Baghdad on unannounced visit

Amid growing political tensions between the US and Iran, The Washington Post recently conveyed the news report that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a sudden, unscheduled trip to Baghdad (Iraq's capital) on Tuesday.

On the way to Baghdad on Tuesday, Pompeo told reporters he would meet with Iraq's president and prime minister to show them what he said is United States. support for "a sovereign, independent" Iraq, free from the influence of neighboring Iran, AP reported.

"We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country", Pompeo said as cited by AFP.

Pompeo would not be specific about the more recent threat information involving Iran except that they involved "imminent" plans for attacks.

His visit came amid the tense situation in the region after U.S. President Donald Trump decided not to reissue the sanctions waivers for major importers to continue buying Iran's oil when they expired in early May, in a bid to pile up pressure on Iran.

John Bolton, the U.S. national security adviser, had then only said the United States was acting "in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings".


Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark, whose foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, had also been set to meet Pompeo in Nuuk. Iraq and Iran are neighbors, and maintain cordial relations.

The visit came two days after USA national security adviser John Bolton said the United States was deploying the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force to the region because of a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces". "We've urged the Iraqi government for its own security to get all of those forces under Iraqi central control", Pompeo said.

In Iraq, a debate has been raging in recent months over the fate of some 5,200 USA troops stationed across the country.

President Hassan Rouhani Wednesday announced Tehran's withdrawal from complying with the restrictions posed by the Iran nuclear deal on the country's enriched uranium reserves and heavy water supplies.

"Iraq is going to need two or three years to achieve self-sufficiency in the field, which will be possible only if big projects are implemented", Al-Khateeb said.

Iran, meanwhile, was expected to announced Wednesday that it would partially withdraw from the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015. Pompeo had been travelling from Finland, where he had attended a meeting of the Arctic Council, to Germany, where he was due to meet both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas later Tuesday.

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