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U.S. To Close Consulate In Iraq, Citing ‘Threats’ From Iran And Allied Militias

2 min read
Karbala in Iraq

Karbala in Iraq. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The United States has announced it will close its consulate in Basra, citing what it said were threats from the Iranian government and Iran-backed militias in Iraq that have launched rocket attacks on the facility.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in the announcement late on September 28 that he would hold Iran directly responsible for any attacks on Americans and U.S. diplomatic facilities in the neighboring country.

The U.S. announcement followed recent rocket attacks that Pompeo said were directed at the consulate in Basra and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The rockets did not do any damage to the facilities.

“Threats to our personnel and facilities in Iraq from the government of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, and from militias facilitated by and under the control and direction of the Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani have increased over the past several weeks,” Pompeo said.

“I have advised the government of Iran that the United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere…whether perpetrated by Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” he said.

“I have made clear that Iran should understand that the United States will respond promptly and appropriately to any such attacks.”

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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