Jan 17, 2020 14:57 UTC
  • Trump’s policies against Iraq amount to piracy: Iraqi lawmaker

An Iraqi legislator has denounced US President Donald Trump’s threats to impose sanctions on his country and demand billions of dollars in compensation if it expels the American troops, stating that such policies are equal to “piracy.”

“Trump's threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are a type of piracy from a mafia, which has plagued the 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.

“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 religious scholar 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.