07:04 GMT24 January 2021
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    Iraqi legislators are contemplating a bill to terminate a security agreement with the United States. This comes as the US president said that Washington wants to keep the country’s forces in Iraq so that the US could keep a close eye on Iran.

    Sputnik has discussed the bill with Dr Kamel Wazne, founder of the Centre of American Strategic Studies in Beirut.

    Sputnik: What served as a red flag for the Iraqi parliament to consider working out this bill?

    Kamel Wazne: I think the Iraqis have been offended by this statement by the United States. Today for Mr Trump to use Iraq as a launching pad against Iran, a country that helped the Iraqis in the war against terrorism,  it's seen as not acceptable by everybody in Iraq. I think that the president of the United States is not respecting the sovereignty and the unity of the country; and I think that the people of the government of Iraq will introduce the bill to probably cut this security relationship with the United States. But we have to wait and see if they will go forward.

    Sputnik: How will it be received by Washington? Will there be any pushback? I suppose there's going to be, isn't there?

    Kamel Wazne: I think that today a lot of people around Mr Trump try to change the public statement issued by him. My estimate is that the damage has been done and this probably will force a gradual and faster withdrawal of America out of Iraq. But if the Americans stay despite the public demand from the Iraqis, then some groups have been saying they're not happy with the Americans, so the tension in the last couple of days was very high in Iraq.

    Sputnik: What do you make of Trump's comments about using Iraq as a ground for surveillance over Iran?

    Kamel Wazne: He commits a lot of mistakes in foreign policy. And this is one of his blunders that he has actually issued or given a statement to a newspaper in the United States. This is a total violation of international relations and of the sovereignty of Iraq. You cannot have your forces to actually fight or use it to fight another country. Especially the relationship between the Iranians and the Iraqis is very good; and many Iraqis feel that the Iranians came, that they are fighting and everybody had failed when ISIS almost reached Bagdad.

    READ MORE: Iraqi Parliament May Start New Session With Debating Bill on US Troop Pullout

    So, I think that the statement by the Americans to use influence and soldiers on the ground for another war in the region from Iraq and then Iran has been received by every Iraqi and it's a big mistake on the side of the Americans. They keep repeating the same mistake over and over. They haven't learned that this is a sovereignty of a country and that country has to be respected.

    Sputnik: Obviously, President Trump considers Iran a real problem even though intelligence chiefs point out that Iran has been compliant with the international nuclear deal. How grounded is Trump's concern about Iran? What's your view on that one?

    Kamel Wazne: This is another issue but politics, according to Trump, don't go as diplomacy should go. When you sign an agreement with a country you shouldn't violate that agreement. He has been violating every agreement. He withdrew from the Iranian nuclear agreement, and a couple days ago he withdrew from the agreement that signed with the old Soviet Union, Russia currently. There are a lot of agreements that have to do with many things the Americans are not honouring their part. This is going to be counterproductive on the credibility and accountability of the United States whether it's really worth it to sign an agreement of understanding with a country that it is going to negate or change its mind in the future.

    READ MORE: Trump's Comments Enrage Iraqis: What's the Real Role of US Troops?

    Credibility is very important; I think that Trump administration is compromising the credibility of the United States. The intelligence says something and the president can erase all the words of the agency and they have consensus that Iran is actually committed to the agreement and the Americans have offended that agreement. It's a total violation of diplomacy and understanding between countries.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr Kamel Wazne and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    military presence, sovereignty, Donald Trump, Iran, Iraq, US
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