Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has once again condemned President Donald Trump for recent comments he made on maintaining an American military presence in Iraq so that Washington can keep a close eye on Iran. Trump’s comments have been met with strong opposition from officials in Baghdad, whom are deeply divided on many issues pertaining to the U.S.-Iran rivalry. That said, openly declaring the use of Iraqi soil for battling the malign activities of the Islamic Republic has put Iraqi officials that are leaning Westwards in a tough position. “Some people say that the mission of these U.S. troops is to attack neighbors of Iraq such as Iran. We do not accept such an idea, and the Iraqi constitution will not allow this. Iraq is not a battlefield for other countries,” Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said.
While the comments by president Trump have topped Iraq’s topics of discussion on foreign intervention; the main source of strain between Washington and Baghdad pertains to the Trump Administration’s demand that all countries, including Iraq, fully comply to international sanctions that were imposed on Iran. This demand has challenged Iraq in particular, due to the fact that the Islamic Republic is the sole foreign supplier for Baghdad’s growing energy-demand. Furthermore, Iraqi leaders fear that a further shortfall in power would lead to mass protests and political instability in their electricity-starved country.