The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has warned its nationals against travelling to Iraq due to “heightened tensions” in the Middle East.
In a statement, the embassy advised American nationals not to travel to Iraq, while warning U.S. citizens who are already in the country to “avoid places known as U.S. citizen gathering points”, to “keep a low profile”, and to be aware of their surroundings.
The warning came amid rising tensions between Washington and Iran, a sign of which was the U.S. decision to send a Patriot missile battery and a Navy amphibious transport dock ship to the Middle East.
The U.S. administration re-imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports in November after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran, Washington and five other countries.
Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would resume high-level enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade levels if Tehran’s interests in the nuclear deal are not protected within 60 days.