Washington: US president Trump created a sensation saying that the US base in Iraq is necessary for keeping a watch on Iran. The activities of Iran, other movements in the Gulf sector and the efforts to acquire nuclear weapons can be easily spotted from here.’ President Trump made this claim during an interview with a US news channel. The reaction has been received from Iraq on this, and Iraqi President, Barham Salih has expressed strong displeasure.
President Trump had invited opposition from the leaders from his administration and US statemen, announcing the military withdrawal from Syria. President Trump also indicated that preparations for military withdrawal from Afghanistan are being made, and passed a verdict that the talks with Taliban are progressing in the right direction. While contemplating military withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan, President Trump seems to be thinking differently regarding Iraq, is what is revealed from the interview with CBS.
The US airbase at Al-Assad, in western Iraq, is at a very strategically important location. Iran can be kept under watch from here. President Trump said, that therefore the United States will be using this base on a perpetual basis. Trump was quizzed ‘Does that mean you will be attacking Iran?’ But Trump avoided talking about an attack on Iran saying that the base will be useful to keep a watch on Iran.
Trump said that Iran is the number one terrorist of the world and the United States has to keep a watch on the country’s activities. Trump claimed that at the same time, the Al-Assad base also is instrumental to get information regarding any country’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Iraqi President Salih has expressed strong displeasure over President Trump’s statements regarding the US bases in Iraq.
President Salih objected to the statements made by Trump saying that as per the Iraqi constitution the Iraqi land cannot be used for activities against any other country. The Trump interview has come under severe criticism even from some of the US newspapers. One of the newspapers criticised that against the background of the US military withdrawal from Syria, the US defence forces were secretly negotiating for the bases in Iraq. But Trump has busted these negotiations and due to the statements made by him regarding the bases in Iraq, the efforts of the defence forces are jeopardised.
But the Trump statement ‘to keep a watch on Iran’ is very suggestive. The US President is pointing out to Iran, its allies and other affiliated organisations that Iran cannot hide anything from the United States. President Trump has also delivered the message to Iran that the US bases in Iraq can be used in action against Iranian activities, through this interview.