“Trump's threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are a type of piracy from a mafia, which has plagued f political decision-making bodies in the United States and has drawn the ire of the American nation,” Kazem al-Sayadi said in an exclusive interview with Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network on Friday.
He also dismissed Washington's threat to restrict access to around $35 billion of the Iraqi oil revenues that are held at the US Federal Reserve, emphasizing that Trump has absolutely no right to take such a measure and block access to a US-based account where Baghdad keeps oil revenues that feed 90 percent of the national budget, Presstv Reported.
“The US threats of imposing unilateral sanctions on Iraq came after we rejected Washington’s policies of targeted killing and arrogance, and censured the violation of our airspace. Iraq, today, is not what it used to be in the past. We have several allies, namely China, Russia and a number of European countries, with which we can clinch long-term agreements,” Sayadi pointed out.
He concluded, “Trump's aggressive policies are indicative of his failure inside the US and his attempts to export his crises abroad, either by means of reneging on the nuclear agreement with Iran, violating the sovereignty of Iraq and making constant threats to other countries. Such policies will ultimately sink Trump and make him the biggest loser in the upcoming US elections.”
On Tuesday, influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded that Iraqis stage a “million-man march” against the continued US military presence in the country.
The march is needed “to condemn the American presence and its violations,” Sadr, who leads the largest parliamentary bloc, Sairoon, said in a tweet on Tuesday.
“The skies, land, and sovereignty of Iraq are being violated every day by occupying forces,” he added. The cleric, however, cautioned that such a show of popular disapproval should be a “peaceful, unified demonstration,” but did not offer a date or location for the proposed rally.
On January 5, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.
Late on January 9, Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
According to a statement released by the Iraqi premier’s office, Abdul-Mahdi “requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament's decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq” in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The prime minister said Iraq rejects violation of its sovereignty, particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the airstrike that assassinated Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, the deputy head of PMU, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions.
“The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement added.
The US State Department bluntly rejected the request the following day.