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Iraq Rejects US Tweets Regarding Its Dealings With Iran

FILE - Iraqi militia leader Hadi al-Amiri of the Badr Brigades Shiite militia explains a battle plan to his fighters near the front line on the outskirts of Fallujah, Anbar province, Iraq, June 1, 2015.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry rejected Saturday what it called U.S. interference in its affairs after the U.S. embassy issued a statement telling neighboring Iran to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and allow demobilization of Shiite militias.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad had posted a message on Twitter Tuesday saying Tehran must “respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilization and reintegration” of Shiite militias.

It was one of several statements issued on the embassy’s Twitter account outlining U.S. demands before new U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sector take effect Nov. 4. The sanctions worry Iraq as it imports crucial supplies from Iran.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it “rejects interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, especially domestic security reform” and demanded the Twitter post be removed. Washington and Tehran have competed for influence in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Iraq’s Shiite militias, which took part in a U.S.-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State, were formally included in the security forces this year. Some militias are backed by Iran, a majority Shiite nation. Washington wants them disarmed.

The United States has said it would grant Baghdad a waiver on Iranian gas and energy imports that feed Iraqi power stations and vital food items, Iraqi officials said Friday.