Tehran strongly refutes Pompeo’s anti-Iran accusations

December 22, 2020 - 16:42

TEHRAN — Iran has strongly rejected any attack on diplomatic mission, saying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo aims to create tension through his irresponsible anti-Iran accusations.

“We strongly refute @SecPompeo's irresponsible anti-#Iran accusations, which blatantly aim to create tension,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a Twitter post on Monday night.

According to the Iraqi military, eight rockets were fired on Sunday at Baghdad's diplomatic Green Zone, a heavily fortified area, with at least one Iraqi soldier injured when a rocket landed near an Iraqi security checkpoint.

The military said most of the rockets hit the Qadisiya residential neighborhood near the U.S. embassy, damaging several buildings and cars.

A spokesman for the Presidency of the Republic of Iraq issued a written statement describing the attack as a terrorist act that endangers the security and lives of innocent citizens and their property.

“It represents a targeting of the country’s sovereignty and national efforts to preserve the state’s prestige,” the statement said. “Targeting diplomatic missions undermines Iraq's international reputation and its foreign relations.”

Pompeo was quick to point the finger at Iran, accusing what he described as “Iran-backed militias” of attacking the embassy.

“Iran-backed militias once again flagrantly and recklessly attacked in Baghdad, wounding Iraqi civilians. The people of Iraq deserve to have these attackers prosecuted. These violent and corrupt criminals must cease their destabilizing actions,” Pompeo said in a tweet.

Khatibzadeh said, however, that Iran rejects any attack on diplomatic missions.

“The U.S. military presence is the source of instability in our region. No amount of spin can divert blame for its evils,” he added.

Speaking at a press conference earlier on Monday, Khatibzadeh said, “Unfortunately, Iran’s diplomatic places in Iraq had also been attacked. We had pursued a steady policy that targeting diplomatic missions and residential areas is unacceptable.”

He added, “But the kind and timing of this attack, as well as the statement issued by the U.S. secretary of state, show that [the attack] is very dubious. Its timing is dubious. And more importantly, it seems that as if they had already prepared a statement to publish. And I strongly condemn the remarks of the U.S. regime’s secretary of state, who is known for his lies and cheating, whether in his current capacity or in his previous capacity as the CIA director.”

Khatibzadeh was making a reference to Pompeo’s remarks during a lecture at Texas A&M University in April 2019, in which he said when he was the CIA director, “we lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses...it reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

MH/PA

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