Iraqi sources announced that the commander of the Quds Force visited Iraq 3 days ago to clarify Iran’s position on the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad, as Tehran warned Washington of any “adventure” against it, while President Donald Trump threatened Iran if any Americans were killed.
Al-Alam TV – which broadcasts from Iran – said that the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Major General Ismail Ghaani, met in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, where the two parties discussed ways of joint cooperation between the two countries.
Those sources said that Qaani informed Iraqi officials that Iran is not responsible for the attacks on US interests, highlighting that his country will not be dragged into military action that Washington determines its time and location.
The Iraqi sources added that the commander of the Quds Force also informed Iraqi officials that Tehran does not want to give Washington an excuse to launch military operations.
Yesterday, Thursday, Iran warned US President Donald Trump of any “adventure” before leaving the White House, after he accused Tehran of being responsible for an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad on the 20th of this month.
Trump said on Wednesday that he would hold “Iran responsible” in the event of an attack that causes the deaths of Americans in Iraq, as the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani approaches by an American strike in Baghdad.
“Our embassy in Baghdad was hit by several missiles on Sunday,” the outgoing president said in a tweet, adding – above a picture of 3 missiles he said that their launch failed – “Guess where they came from? From Iran.”
“Now we hear talk of other attacks against Americans in Iraq,” he said. “Friendly advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible,” adding, warning, “Think about it carefully.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote – on Twitter Thursday – that Donald Trump “uses a worthless image to accuse Iran,” adding that the outgoing president “will take full responsibility for any adventure” he takes.
Zarif accused the US president of “exposing his citizens to danger abroad” and trying to divert “attention from the catastrophic failures” in the face of the Corona epidemic in the United States.
A US State Department official told Al Jazeera that ensuring the safety of employees and citizens and the security of US facilities is a top priority.
The same official stated that the US ambassador to Iraq is still present, and that the US embassy in Baghdad continues to operate normally.
The Axios news site revealed on Wednesday that the United States intends to close its embassy in Baghdad, following a series of missile attacks on the Green Zone by Iranian-backed armed groups.
The site quoted two informed sources as saying that this step may constitute – among several options on the table – an introduction to retaliation against Iran, which Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
The website revealed that the US ambassador in Baghdad, Matthew Tueller, may be transferred to Erbil (northern Iraq), or Al-Asad Air Base (western Iraq) if he leaves Baghdad.
Reuters quoted a senior US administration official as saying that national security officials had agreed on several options to bring to Trump soon.