Iran stumped by US 'political game' in Baghdad

News reports indicated the US was on the verge of leaving Baghdad and moving personnel to Erbil in the Kurdistan Region after dozens of rocket and IED attacks over the last six months.

A woman walks in front of new murals of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran November 2, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS)
A woman walks in front of new murals of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran November 2, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran was hoping that America would close its embassy in Baghdad after threats from the US State Department. However, 72 hours after the threats, Tehran is stumped because it can’t figure out what the Americans are up to. Iran isn’t the only one: Iraqis and others are also confounded by US policy in Baghdad.
News reports indicated the US was on the verge of leaving Baghdad and moving personnel to Erbil in the Kurdistan Region after dozens of rocket and IED attacks over the last six months. A Katyusha rocket even killed several Iraqi children on Monday, one of many rockets that have targeted US facilities in Iraq.
Iranian media is following this closely. It is widely believed that Iranian-backed groups are behind the attacks. Iraq’s government has been pressured by Washington to do something to stop the attacks.
Tasnim News Agency in Iran has called the US threat a “political game.” The US continues to maintain good relations with Iraq and won’t close its embassy after all, the Iranians say. The article noted: “In recent days, the United States has launched a political game and widespread media pressure, threatening Iraqi officials with closing its embassy in Baghdad if it fails to prevent rocket attacks on its embassy in Iraq.”
What has bothered Iran is that several days ago it thought the US would leave and it could celebrate; now it wonders what will happen. Tehran had pressured Baghdad’s foreign minister and also had its own foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweet about removing the “occupiers,” a reference to the US. Iran is now complaining that American troops in Iraq are there in violation of Iraq’s demands that they leave. Tehran complains that Washington has even installed a system to defend the US Embassy.
Meanwhile, Iran has been focused on Lebanon and argues that the “resistance” has a right to resist the “Zionists.” This is a term used to describe Hezbollah’s possible war with Israel. Iran is deeply focused on forming a new government in Beirut and giving Hezbollah more visibility there.


 


Tags Iran Iraq