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US Orders Diplomatic Staff To Leave Iraq As Iran Tensions Mount

BAGHDAD: The U.S. ordered all its nonemergency staff to leave Iraq immediately, amid heightened tensions with Iran over recent attacks against oil tankers and facilities in the Persian Gulf region.

The US state department said on Wednesday it had “ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees from Iraq”, from its highly fortified embassy in the federal capital Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil.

However, the spokesperson declined to say how, when, or how many staff were leaving, citing security reasons.

Earlier, US Secretary of State said that the US “fundamentally does not seek a war with Iran”.

“We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran.” But, Pompeo added, the US has also made it clear to Tehran that if US interests are attacked, Washington will certainly reserve its rights to respond as it deems appropriate.