Iran categorically condemns Baghdad twin bombings as death toll hits 32

Iran’s Embassy in Baghdad has vehemently condemned twin bombings against the Iraqi capital that killed at least 32 people proving the deadliest attack to target the city in three years.

On Thursday, the diplomatic mission released a statement, calling the attacks “terrorist atrocities,” and condoling with the survivors. The embassy expressed hope that the Iraqi security officials will manage to consign the perpetrators to justice at the earliest opportunity.

According to Iraq’s Health Ministry, as many as 110 have also been wounded from the bombings that struck the capital’s Tayaran Square earlier in the day.

The first attacker drew a crowd at the bustling market by claiming to feel sick, then detonated his explosives belt, the Iraqi Interior Ministry was quoted by AFP as saying.

As more people then flocked to the scene to help the victims, a second bomber set off his explosives.

The open-air market, where second-hand clothes are sold at stalls, had been teeming with people after the lifting of nearly a year of COVID-19 restrictions across the country.

The health ministry said those who lost their lives had died on the scene of the attack, and that most of the wounded had been treated and released from hospital.

There has been so far no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

“As ever, the Islamic Republic lays emphasis on [providing] support for the Iraqi government and nation and is prepared to render whatever service that could be required,” the statement read.

Iran began lending effective military advisory support to Iraq since 2014, when Daesh started its campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the Arab country. The assistance helped Iraq defeat the Takfiri terrorist group in late 2017.

The outfit had risen amid the chaos and sectarian conflicts that had followed the United States and its allies’ 2003 invasion of the Iraqi soil. Despite suffering defeat, the group maintains scattered sleeper cells throughout Iraq and launches sting attacks from time to time.

The Islamic Republic as well as many Iraqi political and anti-terror officials have repeatedly spoken in condemnation of the regional and extra-regional countries that provide support for such terrorist elements.

Observers say such attacks render the Arab country insecure, thus providing an excuse for the Western allies’ continued presence there.

‘Baghdad bombing aimed at prolonging foreign forces presence in Iraq’

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, for his part, vehemently condemned Baghdad’s twin blasts later on Thursday.

Saeed Khatibzadeh expressed sympathy of the Iranian nation and government with the families of victims, while condoling with the Iraqi nation and government over “this huge calamity.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the Daesh Takfiri terrorism has been resuscitated in Iraq and is planning to disrupt the country’s peace and stability and provide foreign forces with an excuse to continue their presence in the Arab country.

Khatibzadeh stressed Iran’s support for the Iraqi government as well as the country’s stability and territorial integrity, adding that Tehran also backs measures taken by the Iraqi security forces to find and bring to justice the perpetrators behind such crimes

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready, as it did in the past, to provide Iraqi brethren will all kinds of support in their fight against terrorism and extremism,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman added.

Zarif warns of plots to push new US president into confrontation with Iran

Separately, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also reacted to the harrowing attacks, pointing out that such terrorist attacks, among other forms of instigation, result in nothing but wastage of American lives and resources to target the Islamic Republic.

“From terrorist bombings in Baghdad to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s boot-licking—albeit a new boot—all have but one objective: trap another POTUS (President of the United States) into spending US blood & treasure to “confront” Iran,” he tweeted.

Among the hawkish officials, the Israeli prime minister has been trying most to make the US take on Iran. Provocation by him and others managed to have Washington leave a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers and return the inhumane American sanctions that the deal had lifted.

From terrorist bombings in Baghdad to Netanyahu’s boot-licking—albeit a new boot—all have but one objective: trap another POTUS into spending US blood & treasure to “confront” Iran

The cringe-worthy obsequiousness notwithstanding, desperate plotting against Iran will fail again.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 21, 2021

“The cringe-worthy obsequiousness notwithstanding, desperate plotting against Iran will fail again,” Zarif added. He was referring to Iran’s success in neutralizing the effects of the sanctions and launching nuclear countermeasures against the US and others’ non-commitment to the deal.

Iraq’s PMU leader: Desperate terrorist attacks cannot make Iraqis falter 

The chairman of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, Falih al-Fayyadh, also condemned the terrorist blasts, asserting that such “desperate terrorist attempts” cannot cause the Iraqi people and security forces to falter.

“We trust our popular, security, and intelligence forces’ [ability] to frustrate the enemies’ plots,” he added.

Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq — a PMU subgroup — also denounced the attacks and urged the Iraqi intelligence service to identify its perpetrators.

Hezbollah: Restart of bomb attacks in Iraq suspicious

Lebanese Hezbollah movement, for its part, condemned Baghdad’s twin bomb attacks, noting that restart of such attacks after a period of relative calm in the country was suspicious, especially after Iraqi people and officials demanded withdrawal of all occupying US forces.

Hezbollah added in its statement that US seeks to impose more sanctions on Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units and its commanders in order to pave the way for terrorist attacks by Daesh and other terrorist outfits.

“The best answer to this vicious crime should be increased awareness of Iraqi people and their commitment to freedom and independence of their country,” Hezbollah said.