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Iraqi President Says Trump Didn't Ask for Permission to 'Watch Iran'

© AP Photo / Maya AlleruzzoUS Army soldiers , Mosul , north of Baghdad, Iraq (File)
US Army soldiers , Mosul , north of Baghdad, Iraq (File) - Sputnik International
In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, President Donald Trump specifically signalled his readiness to keep US troops in Iraq in order to monitor Iran.

US President Donald Trump did not ask for Baghdad's permission for US troops stationed in Iraq to "watch Iran", Iraqi President Barham Salih told a forum on Monday.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues. The US is a major power […] but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here," he pointed out.

Salih recalled that US troops are deployed in Iraq in line with a bilateral agreement which specifically stipulates the two countries making joint efforts to fight terrorism.

READ MORE: Strategic Expert on US' Syria Pullout: Americans Will Transfer Troops to Iraq

He also stressed that "it is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other immediate neighbours.

His remarks came after Trump told CBS News on Sunday that one of the reasons he wants to keep a US military base is "to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem".

"All I want to do is be able to watch. We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up," he underscored.

READ MORE: UK Court Authorizes Search for Records of US Military Abuses in Iraq — Reports

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Tehran Ridicules Trump's Claim of Iran Seeking Talks as 'Unattainable Dreams'
During a surprise visit to Iraq late last year, Trump made clear that he has "no plans at all" to remove US troops from the Middle Eastern country, stressing his interest in wanting more soldiers deployed there from Syria.

The latest announced withdrawal of US forces from Syria was made by Trump on 19 December 2018, when he claimed that Daesh* has "mostly" be eliminated, so troops can return home. 

*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and a number of other countries

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