US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq would be “the worst that could happen” for this country, stressing the danger posed by Iran.
From the White House, Trump announced, during his reception with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that the US withdrawal now would be “the worst that could happen to Iraq”, adding, “At a certain time we will come out… but this timing has not yet arrived”.
The US President told reporters on Tuesday that he would abide by international law regarding avoiding targeting cultural sites in military attacks, reversing a threat he made against Iran a few days ago.
According to “Reuters”, Trump said on Saturday that the United States has identified 52 Iranian sites, among them very important sites of Iranian culture that it will strike if Iran launches attacks on Americans or American interests in response to the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US attack.
Trump said this despite the bombing of cultural sites in violation of international treaties and covenants.
His threat has sparked concern around the world.
On the other hand, US President Donald Trump said that the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, “was planning a major attack”.
Trump added that America had been tracking Soleimani for a long time.
He pointed out that Soleimani “was accompanying the founder of the Hezbollah Brigades, and many lives were saved with his death”.
The US President stressed that his country is “ready for any possible Iranian response and will respond in turn”.
For his part, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that he expected Iran to avenge the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, stressing that Soleimani was a legitimate target.
“The American presence in Iraq is important for both countries, and we have not received any Iraqi request to withdraw from the country”, Bloomberg News quoted Esper as saying at a news conference at the Pentagon headquarters in Washington.
“We’re ready for any war with Iran despite our desire for a diplomatic solution”, Esber added.
The US Secretary of Defense stated: “We’re ready for a strong response to Iran in order to preserve our interests”.
He stressed that Iran must stop destabilizing the region.
Esber pointed out that Iran should change its behavior and act as a natural country.
On the other hand, the United Nations requested the United States government to issue a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif so that he could visit the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
“We believe that the agreement signed with the host country must be adhered to”, said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, noting that the agreement with the United States is very specific and operates without restrictions.
Among the provisions of the agreement signed between the United States and the United Nations in 1947 in its fourth clause: “Federal and state or local authorities in the United States are not permitted to impose barriers on flights to or from the headquarters area of the international organization”.
It should be noted that Zarif has not yet obtained a visa to visit the United Nations.
Zarif had previously stated to the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), saying: “The US State Department has informed the United Nations that it does not have time to issue a visa to Zarif”.
Zarif was invited by his Vietnamese counterpart to participate in a meeting of the UN Security Council tomorrow, Thursday, in New York, against the backdrop of growing tensions in the Middle East after the killing of the prominent Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
For his part, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department doesn’t comment on visa matters, adding that the United States fulfills its obligations according to the requirements of the United Nations, noting that it is also doing this “in this special case”.