Iran summons Swiss ambassador over Trump’s claim

March 14, 2020 - 14:41

TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the ambassador of Switzerland, whose country represents the United States’ interests in Iran, to protest Donald Trump’s unfounded claim that Iran was behind a recent attack on U.S. forces in Iraq.

“Following the U.S. president’s unfounded claim that Iran was responsible for the attack against a base of coalition forces in Iraq, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the Foreign Ministry,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday.
He added that the Swiss ambassador was summoned on Friday when he was notified of Iran’s strong protest to the U.S. president’s claims.

Mousavi said the Swiss ambassador was informed that the U.S. president, instead of accusing others, should accept that the U.S. wrong policies, its illegal presence in Iraq and its killing of Iraqi commanders and soldiers are the real reasons behind the Iraqi people’s hatred toward the United States.

The U.S. president told reporters on Thursday that he had been working on what to do about the attack which occurred on Wednesday night.

“They’ve sent a lot of rockets now. It hasn't been fully determined it was Iran,” Trump said.

He added, “It was a rebel group, but most likely it looks like it could be backed by Iran.”

The U.S. carried out airstrikes on Thursday and Friday against what it called multiple Iranian-backed militia sites in Iraq, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

The strikes came one day after the U.S. assessed “an Iranian-backed group” was responsible for a rocket attack on a base where coalition forces are located, killing two American service members and one British service member.

The UK government expressed support for the U.S. airstrikes, with the UK’s Defense Secretary Ben Wallace saying “we support the right of the United States to defend themselves, as they have done tonight.”

Hash al-Shaabi, also called the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), vowed to exact revenge for U.S. strikes. In the U.S. strikes on the PMF positions five Iraqi soldiers and a civilian were killed.

In his remarks, Mousavi said the Swiss ambassador was also informed that it was, in fact, the wrong policies of the U.S. in Iraq that has led to current tensions and that “American authorities, especially Mr. Trump, cannot shirk their responsibility through such unfounded, baseless and dangerous remarks.”

He also warned the U.S. of the consequences of any reckless action against Iran.

Iraqi security officials said on Saturday that a barrage of rockets hit a base housing U.S. troops north of Baghdad. It came three days after a similar attack.

There was no immediate word on casualties at Camp Taji, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, Fox News reported.

The officials said over a dozen rockets landed inside the base.

The attack was unusual because it occurred during the day. Previous assaults on military bases housing U.S. troops typically occurred overnight.


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