323. Telegram 2879 From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State 1 2

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  • REPIR: Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s Reaction to Department Spokesman’s Announcement on US Personnel for USINT

The following press release from the Iraqi News Agency, dated July 29 was received from USINT Baghdad by pouch August 3: “Foreign Ministry spokesman affirmed today that measure of breaking political and economic relations with the United States of America is still valid and that no change whatsoever is introduced on this measure. The spokesman, who was commenting on the announcement by a U.S. State Department spokesman Thursday on the assignment of a U.S. diplomat in Baghdad said, “what occurred did not go beyond the appointment of two diplomats for the U.S. Interests Section in the Belgian Embassy in Baghdad. In return for the presence of two Iraqi diplomats in the Iraqi Interests Section in the Indian Embassy in Washington. This measure (presence of Iraqi and U.S. diplomats), made within the framework of severed relations between the Republic of Iraq and the U.S., is by no means a novel measure, having been agreed upon some months ago for the sake of preserving the interests of Iraqis, as is customary in international conventions.”

“The spokesman clarified, “the rupture of diplomatic and economic relations then resorted to by Iraq and other Arab states was due to the U.S. backing of the Zionist aggression and to her continued animosity towards nationalist and patriotic issues. [Page 2] This U.S. backing for Zionist aggression in the political, material and military spheres, is on the increase and with mounting obstination and complete alignment with the enemy against the interests and rights of the Arab nation. It is not strange, therefore, that the U.S. spokesman comes out with this announcement and at this particular time since it is part and parcel of the U.S. machinations designed to mislead our Arab masses with a view to secure passage to U.S. aggressive goals against our just issues, chief among which is the Palestine issue. The announcement is also an attempt for a U.S. rehabilitation in the Arab region whose masses know very well the reality of U.S. attitude, which is always hostile to ‘their interests and objectives.’

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 17 US-IRAQ. Unclassified. The U.S. Interests Section was opened on October 1, 1972.
  2. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry reacted to the announcement by the Department of State that two diplomats would be appointed to the U.S. Interests Section in the Belgian Embassy in Baghdad.