04:09 GMT +316 June 2019
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    An Iraqi woman walks her national flag during a celebration marking the the departure of US troops from Iraq in Baghdad's Adhamiyah neighbourhood. File photo

    Baghdad Backs Tehran, Will Reject Unilateral US Action - Iraq's Foreign Minister

    © AFP 2019 / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
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    Earlier, the United States had sent at least seven warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, to the Gulf region.

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim said that Baghdad rejects the unilateral measures taken by the US.

    READ MORE: US Military Assets Deployed in Gulf 'Prone to Accident', Iran Warns

    He said that Iraq stands with its neighbour Iran and will act as an intermediary between both parties, adding that Baghdad does not believe an "economic blockade" is fruitful.

    The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the Wasp-class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) sail alongside, as the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSGARG) conduct joint operations, in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in the Arabian Sea, May 17, 2019
    © REUTERS / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/U.S. Navy
    Tensions have been soaring between the United States and Iran over the past few weeks since Washington bolstered its military forces in the Middle East in what White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has called "a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime".

    Additional deployments include a carrier strike group, Patriot missiles, B-52 bombers and F-15 fighters, according to the Pentagon.

    US-Iranian tensions first flared up last year when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and started reinstating sanctions. On 8 May, Iran announced its decision to partially discontinue its obligations under the nuclear agreement.

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    Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Iran, Iraq, United States
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