All non-essential American authorities staff were ordered out of Iraq on Wednesday as tensions between the USA and Iran continue to rise.
Germany and the Netherlands also suspended military instruction in Iraq, Iran’s neighbour to the west, citing escalating security risks in the Gulf.
The US State Department ordered the departure of”non-emergency government workers” from Iraq, it said in a statement. The US Embassy in Baghdad advised those employees to leave Iraq by commercial transport”when possible.”
“Regular visa services in both articles will be briefly suspended. The US government has limited capacity to offer emergency services to US citizens in Iraq,” the State Department said, referring to the embassy and the US consulate in Erbil.
The alert comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran. The US army has deployed forces – including a aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers – into the Middle East in a movement American officials said would be to offset”clear signs” of dangers from Iran to its troops in the area.
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On Sunday, the embassy advised Americans to prevent travel to Iraq, citing”heightened tensions”.
Washington has implemented fresh sanctions pressure on Tehran after pulling out the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
The fast-moving developments have raised concerns that a conflict could split between US and Iranian forces. However, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that there would not be a warfare together with the US despite mounting worries.
The German government said its army suspended instruction of Iraqi soldiers due to the security situation in the region between the usa and Iran.
German Defence Ministry spokesperson Jens Flosdorff told reporters in Berlin that Germany is”orienting itself toward our partner countries, that were taken this measure”.
But he stressed”that there is not any concrete threat” and the choice is to the security situation generally being seen as more stressed.
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Germany currently has about 160 German soldiers in Iraq as a part of the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS), roughly 60 of them in a base north of Baghdad where Iraqi forces have been trained.
The Dutch government also suspended a mission in Iraq which offers help to local authorities, Dutch news agency ANP reported Wednesday.
Dutch military private help train Iraqi forces in Erbil, northern Iraq, together with other foreign troops. The analysis gave no information regarding the nature of this threat.
Even the US administration reimposed sanctions on petroleum exports in November following President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of this 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran, Washington and important world powers.
On Wednesday, Iran said it could officially quit fulfilling some responsibilities under the 2015 deal following the order from its national security council, ISNA news agency reported.
A documented in the country’s atomic energy body told ISNA that Iran now would not limit its production of enriched uranium and heavy water.