The Iraqi parliament has approved a "reciprocity measure" banning Americans from entering Iraq in response to President Donald Trump's inclusion of the nation in his immigration ban, The Associated Press reports. Iraq had initially appeared as if it was not going to move forward with such a ban while Iran indicated it intends to institute its own version of a reciprocal ban, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry said Saturday.
Iraq said Sunday that it understands why Trump issued the executive order but asked that America's "special relationship" with Iraq, where the U.S. has been at war since 2003, be taken into consideration. "This decision by the U.S. is arbitrary," Intisar Al-Jabbouri, a member of parliament from northern Iraq, said according to Time. "The Iraqi government has the right to reciprocate."
The ban could impact American aid workers as well as contractors and journalists currently working in the nation. Additionally, some 5,000 U.S. military personnel aiding in the fight against the Islamic State could be affected.
"If Iraq were to ban U.S. citizens from traveling to Iraq it would have devastating consequences for our fight against ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations," said Chris Harmer, a senior analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. "That's just in the short term."