On Wednesday, President Trump shared on social media a photo of rockets apparently fired at the US Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday. The POTUS blamed Iran for the strike and warned should the attack happen again.
“Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from, IRAN,” President Trump tweeted. “Now we hear the chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq.”
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” the POTUS added.
The US Embassy in Baghdad reported the attack on Sunday.
“The U.S. Embassy confirms rockets targeting the International Zone resulted in the engagement of Embassy defensive arrangements,” announced the embassy on Twitter. It reported that there were some minor damages on the compound but no injuries or casualties.
“These sorts of attacks on diplomatic facilities are a violation of international law and are a direct assault on the sovereignty of the Iraqi government,” the embassy continued while calling on Iraqi officials to avoid further attacks and “hold accountable those responsible” for them.
Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh insisted that Iran wasn’t responsible for the attack and blamed the United States for escalating tensions.
Khatibzadeh tweeted, “We strongly refute Secretary [Mike] Pompeo’s irresponsible anti-Iran accusations, which blatantly aim to create tension,” adding that Iran rejects any attack on diplomatic missions.
The spokesperson also said, “The U.S. military presence is the source of instability in our region. No amount of spin can divert blame for its evils.”
Who would forget the Iran-backed militias who besieged the country’s embassy in Baghdad in late 2019? It sparked a series of events that concluded in Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani’s assassination. Soleimani has led Iran’s terrorist activities in the Middle East. He was also responsible for the deaths of several American troops.
After Soleimani’s downfall, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei vowed “severe revenge,” yet their efforts have failed. Iran then fired missiles at several US assets but the country retaliated by shooting down a Ukrainian plane, killing 176 passengers (82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 7 Afghans, and 3 British citizens).
Tehran streets were filled with protest after the killing, and the regime petitioned INTERPOL to arrest Trump over Soleimani’s death. However, INTERPOL refused. An Iranian was even reportedly issued an $80 million bounty on President Trump’s head, yet to no avail to date.
According to US intelligence reports, Iran plans to assassinate US Ambassador to South Africa, Lana Marks. In September, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps former general warned that the IRGC was planning to assassinate Trump.
Iran’s efforts may have failed so far, but the Islamic Republic dangerously growing in its desperation. Before Soleimani’s killing, Iran has faced protests in November after the regime reduced fuel subsidies by 50 percent and rationing was instituted. The changes were partly due to the Trump administration’s pressure after the US withdrew from the Iran deal.
Just before the parliamentary elections, the COVID-19 pandemic happened, causing lockdowns and border restrictions. Tehran appeared to have downplayed and suppressed information about the coronavirus to avoid a low election turnout. Voting then fell to the lowest since 1979, and Khamenei accused Iran’s enemies of exaggerating the COVID-19 threat before the election.
The virus outbreak then appeared to have begun in the mullahs’ spiritual center, Qom. Mass graves appeared in satellite images, which have confirmed the opposition’s claims that Iran’s capital has massively under-reported death count from COVID-19.
Heartening signs show that Soleimani’s death paved a new future for the Middle East after President Trump’s historic deals between the UAE and Israel.
Unfortunately, incoming liberal US president, Joe Biden, appears intent on restoring the Iran nuclear deal. Should proceed, the deal would likely reverse Trump’s breakthrough in the Middle East.