USA orders embassy staff to leave Iraq over Iran 'threats'

A US Navy Aviation Maintenance Administrationman deployed to the Persian Gulf

Washington says it has received intelligence on possible attacks by Iranian or Iranian-backed forces, possibly targeting USA bases in Iraq or Syria. "The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq". Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel said that United States forces were present at the camp during the attack.

A week ago, the White House announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region in response to intelligence that Tehran was planning an attack against United States targets or U.S. allies.

The US has recently built up its military presence in the region over what it calls an Iranian threat to American troops and interests.

Iran has not made any direct public threats to spark the U.S. deployment.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin "still regards this nuclear agreement as the basis for Iran not having any nuclear weapons in the future, and we regard this as existential for our security".

The top U.S. envoy met with Iraqi President Barham Saleh and Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, and spoke to them "about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country". "I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon". And, following Pompeo's meeting, some Iraqi sources have indicated that the United States may consider Iraq as a bridge to an eventual dialogue with Iran - a role the Iraqis may be willing to play.

The United States keeps about 5,000 soldiers in Iraq, who have been helping Iraqi security forces fight ISIS terrorists.

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"Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended", the department said.

Azari added that Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which is a close ally of Tehran, will confront any attempt to attack Iraq's neighbors from Iraqi soil "with all possible means".

No specific details on the threat have been released, but claims of a rising threat of asymmetric warfare against soft targets are reported.

The move by the British government resembles a sharp change of policy from Wednesday, when the Foreign Office said it wasn't going to follow the US withdrawal and a British general contradicted Washington's assessment of the security situation, saying of Iranian militias "No, there's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria".

His remarks contradicted the US claims and prompted a rare public rebuttal from the Pentagon. Major General Christopher Ghika was speaking via video-link from Baghdad during a Pentagon news conference.

Khamenei told Iranian officials the standoff "is not military because there is not going to be any war".

Last week, Iran notified non-U.S. signatories of the nuclear deal-China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK-of its decision to halt some commitments under the nuclear deal.

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