German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Germany says Trump threat to impose sanctions on Iraq ‘not very helpful’

BERLIN — US President Donald Trump’s threat to slap sanctions on Iraq should Baghdad expel US troops based there “is not very helpful,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday.

“I don’t think you can convince Iraq with threats, but with arguments,” Maas told Deutschlandfunk radio, warning that years-long efforts to rebuild Iraq “could all be lost” if the situation escalates.

Trump earlier vowed to hit Iraq with sanctions “like they’ve never seen before” if US troops are forced to leave the country.

The threat came after Iraqi lawmakers voted on Sunday to request the government end an agreement with a US-led international coalition to fight the hardline Islamist group IS in the region.

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