Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Trump said he wants to stay in Iraq to 'watch Iran.' Iraq isn't happy.

President Trump revealed on CBS Sunday he wants to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq to "watch Iran" — and apparently he didn't bother to mention this to Iraq first.

"The [U.S.] troops ... in Iraq are operating based on the agreement between the government of Iraq and the United States for the specific mission of combating terrorism," Iraqi President Barham Salih said Monday. "Iraq's constitution does not allow our territory of our country to be used against our neighbors."

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues," Salih added. "The U.S. is a major power ... but do not pursue your own policy priorities. We live here. ... Iran is our neighbor ... We don't want to be part of any axis."

Trump's Sunday comments offered a mixed message of discontent with the United States' "endless" wars and intent to maintain long-term, if scaled down, American military commitments in the Middle East.