US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

August 5, 2019

US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller has revealed that the country has lines of communication to Tehran.

During his meeting with several media outlets on Sunday, Tueller didn’t reveal the nature or level of such communication.

Further, Tueller said that his mission in Iraq consists of preventing the return of ISIS, helping Iraq consolidate its institutions, bringing back diversity, assisting the country in achieving economic stability and improving ties between Washington and Baghdad.

The US ambassador welcomed the official decree issued by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi early July on restructuring Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

He added that many people joined PMF to expel ISIS but some of them are carrying out actions that don’t serve Iraq’s interest.

Commenting on the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury on four figures linked to the PMF, Tueller said the move comes in line with a law issued by the Congress that entitles the Department to impose sanctions on foreign figures jeopardizing stability.

The diplomat considered that such sanctions would consolidate Iraq’s sovereignty.

As for the reduction in the number of staff at its embassy in Baghdad, he said the US took the decision after several groups, functioning outside state control, started to threaten the mission’s employees.

Last May, the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone was targeted with Katyusha rockets. There were no casualties.

Asharq Al-Awsat

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.