President Trump threatens sanctions against Iraq

President Trump is threatening severe sanctions against Iraq if the country succeeds in ordering the removal of U.S. troops from the Middle East country.

The Iraqi parliament over the weekend passed a resolution calling for U.S. and other coalition forces to leave the country in response to the Trump administration’s authorization last week of a drone strike near the Baghdad airport that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

According to a Jan. 5 CNBC news report, Trump told reporters on Air Force One that “if they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

The U.S. has not had a comprehensive trade embargo against Iraq since the country invaded Kuwait in August 1990. After U.S. and coalition forces toppled the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, which was followed by the former dictator’s execution by the new Iraqi government in 2006, the U.S. moved away from the complete embargo in order to help the war-torn country rebuild.

On Sept. 13, 2010, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published rules removing the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations and replacing them with the Iraq Stabilization and Insurgency Sanctions Regulations.

OFAC has said there are currently “no broad-based sanctions” for Iraq. Certain U.S. business prohibitions, however, remain in place for individuals and entities related to the former Saddam Hussein regime or against those parties that threaten the country’s economic stability.

Section 746.3 of the Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations, which is enforced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), also continues to impose special controls and licensing requirements for certain exports or reexports to Iraq. These requirements apply to items intended for “military end use” or “military end users,” subject to the Commerce Control List, or used for the development of missiles, encryption and weapons with nuclear, chemical and biological components.