WASHINGTON - U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton on Sunday warned Iran that it must not miscalculate the U. S. troop pullout from Iraq, vowing to maintain a strong U.S. presence in the region.
"No one, most particularly Iran, should miscalculate about our continuing commitment to and with the Iraqis going forward," she said in an interview with CNN.
"Iran would be badly miscalculating if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries in the region," she said.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday announced all U.S. troops stationed in Iraq will pull out of that country by the end of this year, and the Iraq War will be over.
After ending combat mission in Iraq last year, the U.S. military's role in Iraq has been mostly about training and advising. There are about 40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
Clinton said in addition to a very significant diplomatic presence in Iraq, the U.S. also has military bases in neighboring countries and its ally Turkey.
"We have a lot of presence in that region," she added.
However, Obama's announcement has drawn fire from conservative politicians in the U.S. In an interview with ABC, Republican Senator John McCain called the withdrawal as a "serious mistake," voicing concerns about an increased Iranian influence in Iraq. (Xinhua)