Iraq president says Trump did not ask permission to leave troops to ‘watch Iran’

Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday said President Trump didn’t ask permission to leave U.S. troops in Iraq to monitor Iran.

Salih said U.S. troops are in the country with the mission to combat terrorism and told the U.S. not to “pursue your own policy priorities” in the country, according to Reuters.

“Don’t overburden Iraq with your own issues,” Salih added. “The U.S. is a major power … but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here.”

{mosads}Salih also said it is within Iraq’s “fundamental interest” to have good relations with Iran.

Salih’s comments come after Trump said in an interview that aired Sunday that he planned to keep U.S. troops in Iraq to “watch Iran,” a country he has often described as a threat.

“All I want to do is be able to watch. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It’s perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up,” Trump said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“And this is what a lot of people don’t understand,” he added. “We’re going to keep watching and we’re going to keep seeing and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we’re going to know it before they do.”

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Iran Iraq Middle East US foreign policy

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