US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani posed a grave risk to US troops in the region and had to be dealt with.
Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad on January 3, prompting Iran to retaliate with a series of missile attacks on US facilities in Iraq several days later.
Fears of imminent war between Iran and the United States have since subsided somewhat after US President Donald Trump appeared to shy away from a direct military response to the Iranian missile attack.
US says any delegation to Iraq won’t discuss troop withdrawal
Any delegation the US would send to Iraq would not discuss the withdrawal of US troops from the country, the US State Department said, saying the force presence there was “appropriate.”
“There does, however, need to be a conversation between the US and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership,” department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.