The Trump administration has started drafting sanctions against Iraq over its push to expel US troops from the nation, a White House official who requested anonymity confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump first threatened economic penalties over the weekend after the Iraqi parliament passed a nonbinding resolution to urge the US military to leave, a rebuke of the lethal drone strike that targeted a top Iranian general in Baghdad late Thursday. Along with Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, an Iraqi militia official was also killed in the escalation.
The Washington Post reported late Monday that senior administration officials had initiated preliminary talks on the potential sanctions, which the US has not yet decided to move forward with.
The White House press office did not offer comment on the matter. Asked to confirm whether draft preparations were underway, Treasury Department staffer Zach Isakowitz told Business Insider there was “no additional guidance at this time.”
Trump said Sunday that if Iraq were to force US troops to withdraw from the nation, his administration would “charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before.”
“It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One, referring to economic penalties imposed last year as part of a maximum-pressure campaign on the Islamic Republic. “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”