Will the scenario of closing the US embassy in Baghdad return after the withdrawal of diplomats?

Will the scenario of closing the US embassy in Baghdad return after the withdrawal of diplomats?

4/12/2020 12:03

Will the scenario of closing the US embassy in Baghdad return after the withdrawal of diplomats[Follow_Wine]
It seems that the Iraqi scene is still moving on a hot tin with regard to the relationship with Washington, where the administration of the outgoing US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw half of the American diplomats from its embassy in Baghdad.
US Ambassador to Baghdad Matthew Tueller commented on the decision to reduce the size of the diplomatic mission, saying in a video message, “Many of my Iraqi friends contacted me to inquire about press reports that the United States Embassy will reduce the number of staff in Baghdad.”
“I was able to reassure them that I would continue to perform my normal duties at the embassy. I will do so with the support of a core team of American diplomats and American advisers to the Iraqi military,” he added.

Security reasons
The US “Politco” website reported earlier, that the decision to withdraw half of the American diplomats comes for “security reasons.” The website, quoting US officials, one of them in the State Department, indicated that the withdrawal of diplomats “will be temporary.”
According to the site, the date of the return of the diplomats will remain unknown, in light of the escalation of tension between Washington and Tehran.
The site pointed out that an American official revealed that up to half of the American employees in the embassy and US diplomatic facilities in Iraq will leave, indicating that their numbers are estimated at “dozens”, while the official in the US State Department refused to provide any other details related to the withdrawal of diplomats. .

Possibilities of closing the US embassy The
decision to withdraw diplomats from the US embassy in Baghdad in Baghdad raised questions about what that step and the messages that Washington would like to send through, especially after hinting earlier about the possibility of closing its embassy in Baghdad due to the continuing missile attacks.
Geopolitics professor Diyari Al-Faili believes that the American declaration “carries more than one message to the Iraqi and regional side, and even to Washington’s international allies.” Perhaps the most prominent message from that step is that “the project to close the embassy is still in place and is possible,” according to Al-Faily, who indicates that this matter will lead to “plunging Iraq into a major diplomatic crisis.”
He added, “We may also witness in the coming stage a greater withdrawal of American forces,” noting that these moves “come as an American response to the escalation of the rhetoric of radical currents that do not repeatedly hide their enthusiasm for targeting American interests in general.”
The US Department of Defense has confirmed that it will reduce the number of its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said that 500 American soldiers will leave Iraq, leaving 2,500 soldiers, which represents the lowest number of American forces since 2003.

Disappointment with the Al-Kazemi government
. This withdrawal carries, to some extent, an expression of “American disappointment with the Al-Kazemi government’s management of related files.” Controlling the situation in Iraq, “says Al-Faily, who believes that” the credibility of the Al-Kazimi government before the international community is gradually eroding. ”
Despite the talk about American disappointment with the Al-Kazemi administration, according to observers, Iraq remains one of the most important vital areas for the United States, as the most important concern of successive US administrations remains that Iraq will not turn into a purely vital area for Iran.
Al-Faili believes that the changes in US dealing with Iraq “do not mean a complete abandonment of this file.” “Decision-makers in Washington, regardless of their orientations, are aware that any abandonment of Iraq directly affects Washington’s strategic position in the region and its credibility in front of its allies.”
Al-Faily concludes that despite the radical parties’ reliance on the rise of President-elect Joe Biden, the tools of American strategic dealing in Iraq during the next stage will be sharp in all cases, expressing his belief that Washington may make in the next stage sharp options that will worsen the relationship with Baghdad”.

A compromise solution with the escalation of tension,
and this step does not appear in isolation from the great escalation in the region, especially with the escalation of the assassinations that affect Iranian leaders, including the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The “New York Times” newspaper reported leaks about a meeting between Trump and military advisers to discuss the possibility of military strikes on nuclear sites in Iran.
In addition, the approaching anniversary of the assassination of the former commander of the Iranian “Quds Force”, Qassem Soleimani, whom observers associate with the possibility of Tehran’s allies, may represent a retaliatory blow to the US embassy in Iraq.
Iraq fears an increase in the level of tensions and the possibility of re-scenario of the security problems left by the assassination of Soleimani, especially after the Revolutionary Guards pledged to avenge the killing of Fakhrizadeh.
Observers believe that this step may represent an American attempt to reduce the value of the embassy in Baghdad as a possible target for Tehran, in addition to being a less severe option than closing the embassy completely.
Bilal Wahhab, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, describes the decision to reduce the number of American diplomats in Baghdad as “positive,” indicating that it represents “a compromise solution vis-à-vis previous US threats to close the embassy.”
He explains, the goal of the reduction is that “it might help Iraq and the region make the embassy not an important target for Tehran.”
Perhaps what strengthens Washington’s unwillingness to close its embassy in Baghdad, according to Wahab, is “the presence of the American ambassador and the main cadre in the embassy,” indicating that this matter gives assurances that the decision is “a security precaution aimed at preventing a greater conflict.”
Wahab points out that the US administration “might sense the possibility that Tehran would run through the armed factions in Iraq the revenge that it promised against the background of the killing of the nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh,” noting that, “Iraq represents the least expensive land for Tehran in terms of resolving its problems with Washington.” .
Wahhab talks about that this decision may contribute to “reducing the size of the embassy as a target for missile attacks,” pointing out that “any targeting of American diplomats may ignite security problems in Iraq that are not in the interest of the governments of Baghdad and Washington at the current stage.”

A decline in the importance of Iraq
On the other hand, the head of the Political Thinking Center, Ihssan Al-Shammari, believes that, the most prominent indicators that can be deduced from this decision are that “Iraq is no longer a priority for Washington’s foreign files after the failure to push it to the place of the allies of the United States.” “The retreat in the importance of the Iraqi file is what prompted the US administration to reduce its diplomatic presence.”
Al-Shammari added, “Washington is sensing that the armed factions’ attempt to storm its embassy in Baghdad last year, may be repeated on the anniversary of Soleimani’s death, which may cost it a lot.”
And he continues, “Washington wants to cut off the justifications in front of any possible Iranian response to the recent targeting of prominent Iranian figures,” noting that “the diminishing importance of Iraq to Washington reduces the possibility of the complete closure of the American embassy in Baghdad.”
Several reports spoke last October of Washington’s intention to close its embassy in Baghdad as a result of the continued missile attacks on it, but the truce declared by the resistance factions in Iraq removed this option.
The US embassy has been subjected to multiple missile attacks during the past two years, the most recent of which was the bombing on November 19, which coincided with the announcement of the leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Qais Khazali, the end of the truce with Washington.