Iran informed Iraq of missile attacks in advance: MFA spox

Tehran, Jan 20, IRNA – Spokesman of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that Tehran had Informed Iraqi government in advance about Iran's retaliatory missile attacks on two US bases in Iraq.

In the wake of Iraq’s complaint to the United Nations Security Council about Iran’s missile attacks to the US bases in the country, Mousavi added that the reason why they had filed a complaint should be elaborated by Iraqi officials.

Speaking in a press conference, the spokesman said: “For Iran as a neighbor and a longstanding friend of Iraq, its sovereignty and territorial integrity is important.”

He made clear that Iran has always called for non-intervention of foreign forces in Iraq, and that its own presence was owing to an invitation from the Iraqi government to fight ISIS terrorists poised to capture Baghdad.

“We announced that we would target any place where a conspiracy hatched against Iran and Iranian officials. We made sure that the assassination of General Soleimani was planned in that base; therefore we informed Iraqi government that we would target the base,” Mousavi added.

Iran launched a missile attack on January 8 on Ain al-Assad airbase near Baghdad which hosts US military forces in retaliation for the US assassination of the IRGC’s Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani.

The spokesman denounced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on the JCPOA to be replaced by what he called “Trump deal”, saying that Iran made the deal with the US government and the people meeting with Iranian officials were considered to be representatives of the United States and naming a deal after a person indicates that they are unfamiliar with the situation.

Mousavi left the door open for Europeans to hold talks with Iran “albeit the wickedness we have seen from the European side”, adding that even the United States can return to the JCPOA in case they abide by the terms of the deal.

Iran provided European parties to the deal with initiatives derived from within the deal to exit the current standoff but they produced no outcome because of US objection and the fact that Europeans don’t act independently, Mousavi said.

On the Ukrainian passenger plane crashed in Iran, the spokesman said that Tehran has provided delegations from the concerned countries with visas and consular access, but they should avoid politicization of the tragic air disaster.

The Ukrainian airliner was targeted unintentionally by Iran’s defensive missile system amid heightened tensions caused by the US assassination of General Soleimani. All 176 people on board the plane were killed.

He touched upon British Ambassador to Tehran Rob Macaire’s leaving Iran after a diplomatic tension caused by his presence in illegal rally earlier this month, labeling his action as “suspicious and against diplomatic standards”, saying that he should have respected laws and regulation of Iran.

Mousavi also denounced the expelling of two Iranian diplomats from Albania, hoping that the Albanian government would reconsider the issue and prevent the ties between the two countries from being affected by a third party.

The MFA official described South Korean decision to dispatch a part of its fleet from Gulf of Aden to the Persian Gulf as “unacceptable and in line with the US adventurism which doesn’t fit the longstanding friendship between Iran and South Korea.”

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