Iraq 'committed' to protecting, securing all foreign diplomatic missions

Iraq 'committed' to protecting, securing all foreign diplomatic missions

Iraq 'committed' to protecting, securing all foreign diplomatic missions

In his statement on Friday, Pompeo said the United States is working with the Iraqi government to address Iranian threats.

The decision further escalated the tension between the United States and Iran, which is the target of increasing economic sanctions by the Trump administration.

According to Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Consulate and Embassy of United States in Baghdad are the target of "periodic attacks from indirect fire positions".

Iran has condemned as irrational and unjustifiable the remarks made by the U-S secretary of state over the closure of the country's consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra.

However, it is quite crystal that United States officials' "childish justifications" are part of the country's adventurism and plot to depict Iraq as an insecure country to exert pressure on the Arab country's government, the Iranian spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, three mortar rounds also hit the fortified Green Zone area in Baghdad, home to the U.S. embassy, without causing injuries and with the perpetrators unclear.

In a statement issued by the Iraq's foreign ministry said it "regrets the American decision to pull its staff out of Basra".

The decision comes out of concern for the safety of US personnel stationed in Basra, the southern Iraqi city near the border with Iran.

The decision came days after U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchanged taunts at the United Nations General Assembly, with Trump vowing more sanctions and accusing Iran's leaders of sowing "chaos, death and destruction".

On Tuesday, Trump's hardline National Security Adviser John Bolton told an anti-Iran lobby group in NY that Iran would have "hell to pay" if it crossed the United States or its allies.

Tehran rebuffed the claim that security threats from Iran led to the removal of personnel from the U.S. consulate, calling it a 'ludicrous justification, ' according to the state-run Press TV on Saturday, citing the country's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition in Iraq said Friday that the military was tracking "two points of impact from strikes near the US Basra Diplomat Consulate, but nothing was hit and no injuries".

He stressed that Washington would take Iran "responsible for any damage caused to the Americans or dipuchrezhdeny the U.S. in Iraq or anywhere else the Iranian forces or their associated groups", and warned of a "swift and adequate response".

In the past weeks, hundreds of angry demonstrators in Basra burned the Iranian consulate as well as the provincial government buildings and offices of leading political parties, and headquarters of some Shiite militias in protest of widespread corruption and water contamination in the province.

Responding to Trump's comments on Wednesday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that the U.S. is the problem: an isolated violator of global laws led by a team of political and diplomatic novices that is earning the world's disapproval.

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