The United States has a strong and abiding interest in a secure and prosperous Iraq able to defend the nation against violent extremist groups and able to deter those who would undermine Iraqi sovereignty and democracy. As the world watches events in Iraq unfold it is increasingly clear that the Government of Iraq and the country’s political leaders must engage seriously and urgently with Iraqi citizens who are demanding reform. There is no path forward based on suppression of the will of the Iraqi people.
We deplore the killing and kidnapping of unarmed protesters, threats to freedom of expression, and the cycle of violence taking place. Iraqis must be free to make their own choices about the future of their nation.