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Baghdad instead of Berlin

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For hours it was speculated, now it is clear: US Secretary of State Pompeo has traveled to Baghdad for talks. Previously, he had canceled his originally planned visit to Berlin at short notice.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived on an unannounced visit to Baghdad. There he met Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, and there was also a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim, according to Iraqi government circles.

The chief diplomat from Washington had previously canceled at short notice on Tuesday planned for Berlin visit „due to urgent matters“. A concrete reason for Pompeo’s refusal had not been mentioned at first.

„Escalating Activities of the Iranians“

The US Secretary of State’s visit to Iraq comes at a time when Washington is trying to increase pressure on neighboring Iran. According to the Pentagon, the US Air Force is currently deploying several B52 long-range bombers and the aircraft carrier „USS Abraham Lincoln“ to the region.

Before leaving for Europe, Pompeo had referred to „escalating Iranian activities“ and „attacks on US interests.“ Since the US opted out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, relations between the two countries have continued to deteriorate. The White House tightened the sanctioning screw against Tehran ever more firmly.

„US interests directly affected“

The visit to Baghdad was not surprising, said ARD correspondent Stefan Niemann in Washington. Wednesday marks the day when the US announces its withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran. „It is expected that Iranian President Rouhani will find clear words, perhaps saying that Iran too is no longer bound by the agreement, which is why many assume that Pompeo has traveled to Baghdad to re-flag the region and strength, „says Niemann. Finally, the US interests in the region are directly affected.

That Pompeo stop on his way back in London, but Berlin has omitted, was from the US point of view understandable. Britain is a special ally of the United States. In addition, the US President is expected in early June in London. Pompeo could do it