Iraqi FM: U.S. pullout from Iran nuclear deal destabilizes region 

January 18, 2020 - 20:18

TEHRAN - Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali Al Hakim, in a news conference with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Al Safadi in Baghdad, has said that Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been the cause of recent tensions in the region. 

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
 
Under the JCPOA, Iran promised to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions.
 
“We must take steps in line with preventing alien forces’ presence in the region,” he added, Azad University News Agency (ANA) reported on Saturday.  
 
Al Hakim further said that any escalation of tensions in the region will pave the way for the terrorist groups to reequip and reemerge. 
 
Al Safadi, for his part, said, “I have a message of Jordanian King Abdulla II for Baghdad. The message concentrates on Iraq’s independency and de-escalation of tensions.” 
 
Al Safadi went on to say that threats posed by the ISIL (Daesh) are still alive. 

On January 8, the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles at the U.S. Ain al-Assad airbase in southwestern Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

The missiles were launched at 1:45am to 2:15am at dawn, January 8, 2020.

Ain Al-Assad, an airbase in al Anbar province, is the main and the largest U.S. airbase in Iraq.

General Soleimani was assassinated in a U.S. air raid near the Baghdad international airport on January 3. It was an act of war against Iran.

Soleimani had gone to Baghdad to deliver a message to the Iraqi prime minister who is seeking to reduce tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) and some other forces of the PMU along with their guests.

Top Iranian political and military figures had vowed “harsh revenge” for the martyrdom of General Soleimani.

A U.S. military sources said on Thursday that eleven American troops were treated for concussions after Iranian missiles struck two Iraqi bases where the service members were stationed.


MJ/PA

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