Rex Tillerson: Iranian militias in Iraq 'need to go home'

By Daniel Uria  |  Oct. 22, 2017 at 2:22 PM
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Oct. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for all Iranian militias to leave Iraq and encouraged Europe to join sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Speaking in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Sunday, Tillerson urged the Iran-backed militias to leave Iraq as the battle against the Islamic State nears an end.

"Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home," he said, referring to the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State and the abbreviation for the group's former name. "Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control."

A senior U.S. official indicated to the Washington Post that Tillerson was referring to the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces and the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

"The position of the Iraqi government and the position of our government is that there should be a single Iraqi security force answerable to the Iraqi state," the official said.

Tillerson also advised businesses in Europe to avoid investing in businesses linked to the IRGC, which the U.S. Treasury department identified as a supporter of terrorism for backing the Quds force.

"Those who conduct business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, or any of their entities, European companies or other companies around the globe, really do so at great risk," he said.

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