Iran summons Swiss envoy over U.S. ‘warmongering words’  

January 1, 2020 - 15:21

TEHRAN - Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Markus Leitner, whose country represents the U.S. interests in Iran, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to hear Tehran’s strong protest to Washington’s “warmongering words” and baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic.

Foreign Ministry Director-General for American Affairs Mohsen Baharvand delivered Iran’s memo of official protest to the Swiss envoy, saying the Americans’ warmongering words against Iran are in violation of the United Nations Charter.

The U.S. forces on Sunday conducted drone strikes on a number of the Kata'ib Hezbollah positions, which is part of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 51 injured.

“Naturally, the Iraqi people react against a country that has occupied their land and has killed their young fellow countrymen.”

The U.S. attack prompted massive public anger in Iraq on Tuesday, with protesters storming the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and seizing the building after American diplomatic personnel had been forced to evacuate.

Following the attack on the embassy, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Iran of being responsible for the attack.

“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” Trump tweeted.

Baharvand told Leitner that Iraq is an independent country with an independence-seeking honorable people. 

“The U.S. Army has killed at least 25 young Iraqis and injured tens more without providing any evidence to prove their fault.”

Baharvand said it is quite obvious that the Iraqis react to such a move.

“Naturally, the Iraqi people react against a country that has occupied their land and has killed their young fellow countrymen.”

He went on to say that the U.S. Army is seeking to hatch a more dangerous plot for the entire region as they targeted two military centers of pro-Damascus forces in Syria to further destabilize the region and use it as a pretext for deployment of more forces in Iraq and Syria. 

“The U.S. officials should refrain from ‘externalization’ and should not accuse our country without any reason,” Baharvand said in the meeting with Leitner.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official called on the Swiss ambassador to convey this message to the U.S. that Tehran is not after starting a war with any country, reminding that, however, the Armed Forces of Iran will not tolerate any act of aggression and will immediately and strongly respond to it.

“The U.S. government, instead of accusing others, must learn how to talk with other nations and must halt occupying (other countries),” Baharvand added. 

On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned the White House of any miscalculation and inconsiderate response.

In a statement, he advised the U.S. to review its “destructive policies”.

“How do you expect the Iraqi people to keep silence over all these crimes?” he asked.

He said, “The United States has ignored freedom- and independence-seeking Iraqi people and has also supported Saddam [Saddam Hussein, a former Iraqi president] and has created Daesh. It [the U.S.] has forgotten killing and looting the Iraqis and seems to have forgotten that the Iraqi people are still under occupation.”

The diplomat categorically rejected Washington’s groundless accusation that the Islamic Republic is behind anti-U.S. protests in Iraq.


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