(Reuters/IraqiNews.com) An influential Shi’ite cleric said on Sunday American nationals should leave Iraq, in retaliation for the new travel curbs imposed by the U.S. administration on the Iraqis.
”It would be arrogance for you to enter freely Iraq and other countries while barring to them the entrance to your country … and therefore you should get your nationals out,” Moqtada al-Sadr said on his website, commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision.
On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order freezing for 90 days the issuance of visas for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia for national security considerations. The move caused a state of chaos across world airports as authorities and U.S. embassies began to implement the directives. Protests broke out in the U.S. against the move.
The Iraqi government has so far declined to comment on the executive order.
Earlier on Sunday, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization on Sunday called on the Iraqi government to ban U.S. nationals from entering Iraq and to expel those who are already in the country, in a reaction to the new U.S. travel curbs on Iraqis.
Popular Mobilization is mainly a coalition of Shi’ite paramilitary groups armed and trained by Iran to fight Islamic State. It became an Iraqi government-approved body last year.
The call to ban U.S. nationals came in a statement published by its spokesman, Ahmed al-Assadi.
Iraq’s foreign affairs committee also said the U.S. travel curbs imposed on Iraqis were “unfair,” and asked the government in Baghdad to “reciprocate” to the American decision.
The committee made its call after a meeting in Baghdad.
“We ask the Iraqi government to reciprocate to the decision taken by the U.S administration,” said the committee in a statement read to Reuters by one its members, Hassan Shwerid.
“Iraq is in the front line of the war of terrorism (..) and it is unfair that the Iraqis are treated in this way.”