The U.S. Embassy in Iraq said that the State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel to leave the country immediately, citing heightened tensions with and indications of growing threats from Iran.
The warning comes after the Trump administration said it detected urgent threats against American forces from Iran and its proxy forces in the region. The embassy advised Americans to avoid travel to Iraq because of “heightened tensions.”
Trump last week sent Patriot missile batteries, additional ground troops, air assets and naval forces to the area in response to Iran’s increased threats.
Tensions have risen in recent weeks after President Donald Trump tightened economic sanctions on Iran and designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. Iran, in turn, has indicated it might break part of the nuclear deal reached under President Barack Obama.
Trump’s designation of the IRGC allows the U.S. Treasury Department to levy sanctions not only on the organization itself but entities that do business with them. These sanctions constitute the harshest actions the U.S. government can take with implications that reverberate throughout the global financial system.
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