[size=36]Revealing the thrust of a new message conveyed by Pompeo to officials in Baghdad[/size]
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conveyed a message to Baghdad officials during his recent visit to the Iraqi capital amid tension between his country and Iran: "If you do not stand by us, stand by neutrality," the sources told The Associated Press. "He said.
The letter, conveyed by two officials in the Iraqi government to the Associated Press, according to the agency reported in a report, on Iraq's exact position: his government allied with two increasingly quarrelsome.
The two Iraqi officials said that "Pompeo transferred to Baghdad intelligence information received by the United States, about the threat of US forces in Iraq, but kept them vague."
Pompeo did not specify the nature of the threat, according to the two officials who spoke to the Associated Press, on condition of anonymity.
"We do not expect them to stand by the United States in any confrontation with Iran, but they must not stand against America; in other words, Iraq should stand aside," he said.
"Bombay told the Iraqis that the United States has an" inherent right to self-defense "and that it would use it if US personnel, installations or interests were attacked by Iran or its proxies in Iraq or in any other country, the agency quoted US officials as saying. Elsewhere".
"Bombay does not think of any preemptive strikes against Iran or the use of Iraqi territory to launch military operations against it," three US officials told the Associated Press.
"Pompeo's message was that the United States wanted to avoid conflict, but it would respond or defend itself if necessary," the US officials said.
An Iraqi Defense Ministry general told the Associated Press that "Iraq is taking precautionary measures in the light of information about threats against US interests, although these measures have not reached the highest levels."
Relations between Washington and Tehran have become strained in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision this month to try to halt Iran's oil exports altogether and strengthen the US presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.
Earlier this week, Washington withdrew its diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad following attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf earlier this week.