Clinton warns Iran not to exploit US Iraq pullout

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State HillaryClinton said on Sunday the United States will maintain a strongsecurity relationship with Iraq despite the scheduled pulloutof all US troops and warned Iran not to try to exploit thesituation.

"No one should miscalculate America's resolve andcommitment to helping support the Iraqi democracy," Clintonsaid on the NBC program "Meet the Press." "We have paid toohigh a price to give the Iraqis this chance. And I hope thatIran and no one else miscalculates that."

Clinton, speaking on the program "Fox News Sunday," addedthat Iraq "is a sovereign, independent nation with whom we havevery good relations. And we expect to have a continuing strongsecurity relationship for many years to come."

After months of negotiations with officials in Baghdadfailed to reach an agreement to keep possibly thousands of UStroops in Iraq as trainers, US President Barack Obamaannounced on Friday he would stick to plans to pull out theremaining force of 40,000 American troops by year's end.

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