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Rouhani’s visit to Iraq is a slap in the face to Trump

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As an aspiring journalist, it is hard to keep up with which country is at the top of Donald Trump’s “to-bomb” list, given the target appears to change every week or so. Since the infamous days of his campaign trail up until the present day, the US president has held a deep animosity towards Tehran. However, the government’s focus appears to shift away from the Islamic Republic periodically – one minute it’s North Korea, every April since his election he also decides he briefly wants to bomb Assad in Syria, and most recently, his entire administration has raved incessantly about Venezuela.

No matter how the news cycle goes, and no matter the sort of historical death-squad arming psychopath Trump appoints as Special Envoy to Venezuela, at the end of the day the media focus inevitably continues to fall back on Iran (and with it, Donald Trump’s keen and hawkish eye).

This week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made his first official visit to Baghdad, a monumental occasion given the two countries fought a brutal and deadly war only a few decades ago. A war which, by the way, the United States saw fit to supply arms to on both sides in order to maximise the death toll (apparently, 1 million dead wasn’t enough).

The unofficial irony of the situation is that Iran and Iraq would never be in a position which sees them strengthening their ties to the level we are seeing today if the US had not invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power. The idea that the US-led Anglo-alliance could oust the most anti-Iranian Iraqi president of all time and replace him with an even more anti-Iranian president sympathetic to western interests quickly backfired when a Shia government was put in place that quickly aligned its interests with that of Tehran.

Take, for example, the recent announcement that Donald Trump wanted to maintain a strong military presence in Iraq so that he can keep a close eye on Iran. Such a statement was vehemently rejected by Iraq’s leadership, with Iraqi President Barham Salih warning Trump not to “overburden Iraq with your own issues.”

“The US is a major power,” he added, “but do not pursue your own policy priorities. We live here.”

Such a misuse of the 2008 US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, which Washington conceded would not allow the military to use Iraq as a “launching or transit point for attacks against other countries” is........

© RT.com