US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Britain on Wednesday to pitch a post-Brexit "special relationship" as Iran said it may stop complying with some parts of the nuclear deal which the United States withdrew from a year ago.
Mr Pompeo's visit comes as Iran warned it will resume uranium enrichment unless the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal - France, Britain, Germany, China and Russian Federation - can show it is worth pursuing.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said in a tweet that he participated in two separate important meetings that Pompeo held with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and Iraqi President Barham Salih.
Pompeo would not be specific about the more recent threat information involving Iran, but said he would make the point in his meetings in Baghdad that any attack by Iran or its proxies on American forces in Iraq would affect the Iraqi government too.
Pompeo also said that he wanted to "speak with the leadership (in Iraq), to assure them that we stood ready to continue to ensure that Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation".
John Bolton, the U.S. national security adviser, had then only said the United States was acting "in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings".
Journalists from The Associated Press and other organizations accompanying Pompeo were not told of his new destination until his plane left for Baghdad and were not allowed to report on his whereabouts until after his plane had taken off for London.
On Sunday, Washington announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East as national security advisor John Bolton warned Iran that Washington would respond with "unrelenting force" to any attack by Tehran, including by its regional allies. "We've urged the Iraqi government for its own security to get all of those forces under Iraqi central control", Pompeo said. "We're taking every action to deter them", he said. Iranian media have said that Rouhani will announce retaliatory measures on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of Trump's pullout from a 2015 nuclear accord under which Tehran drastically scaled back its sensitive work.
"If companies are faced with the choice of continuing to trade with Iran or United States, if they have significant interests in the USA that's what they are going to do". More than 5,000 USA troops are stationed on Iraqi soil.
Germany has wide disagreements with the Trump administration and along with other European nations still supports the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated under former USA president Barack Obama. "This is an obligation that Iraq honours", he said.
He was due to meet both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas later Tuesday in Germany.