Bahram Qassemi

Iran rejects US statement on Basra chaos

Tasnim – Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned as “provocative and irresponsible” a White House statement that has blamed Iran for the recent unrest in the Iraqi city of Basra, saying such attempts to shift the blame onto others would not erase the US destructive role in Iraq.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned the White House statement on Iran’s role in the Basra chaos, slamming it as “invalid, astonishing, provocative and irresponsible.”

Blaming the US government’s meddlesome actions and interference as the root cause of instability, unrest and tensions in the region, Qassemi said, “That country’s (US) policies toward Iraq have led to nothing but insecurity and instability.”

He also slammed the recent chaos in Iraq and a mob attack on the Iranian consulate in Basra as a result of the American policies and Washington’s “overt, covert, unwise and short-sighted” support for the groups spreading violence and extremism.

“The US government must be held accountable for its years-long supports for such (extremist) groups in the region,” the Iranian spokesman added.

He also underlined that the US push to pin the blame on the others would not whitewash its role in fomenting tensions and in attacks on the diplomatic missions in Iraq and elsewhere.

“Today, many government officials, politicians, and intellectuals around the world are well aware of the United States’ growing role in creation of instability and insecurity and of its bully-style excessive demands,” Qassemi added, reminding Washington that such amateurish efforts to shift the blame onto others could not cover up its “wrong, fruitless and destabilizing policies.”

Reaffirming Iran’s commitment to the policy of safeguarding peace, stability and security in the regional countries, Qassemi concluded, “A safe and developed Iraq has been always among the Islamic Republic of Iran’s demands and priorities; and plots by the third parties could not obstruct the expansion of such age-old and strong relations (between Iran and Iraq).”

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House press secretary said Iranian-backed forces in Iraq had carried out “life-threatening attacks” against the US consulate in Basra and the US embassy in Baghdad.

“The United States will hold the regime in Tehran accountable for any attack that results in injury to our personnel or damage to United States Government facilities. America will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives,” the statement added.

On September 7, a mob of angry protestors stormed into the Iranian consulate in Basra, destroyed the diplomatic mission’s properties, took down the flag of Iran and torched the building.

The consulate’s building was not the first to be set on fire. The angry demonstrators had earlier set government buildings ablaze as well. The buildings included the headquarters of the local government, the ruling Dawa Party, the Supreme Islamic Council and the Badr Organization.