Zarif: Iran informed Iraqi govt. of missile attack on US bases‎

Iranian Foreign Minister says Iran informed the Iraqi government of its retaliatory attack on US bases, reaffirming Tehran’s respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country.

This measure was carried out with the information passed to the Iraqi government and armed forces as confirmed by the Baghdad government, Zarif said Wednesday.

“We attach high significance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and we believe security should be [provided] based on mutual respect and [safeguarding] territorial integrity of all regional countries by all,” he added.

The remarks came hours after Iran responded to the US assassination of prominent anti-terror Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, including Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with a barrage of missiles that hit two US bases in Iraq.

In the early hours of Wednesday, Iran launched tens of missiles at two bases housing US troops in Iraq’s western Anbar Province and Kurdistan regional capital, Erbil, in revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani.

Zarif’s remarks came after Iraq’s President Barham Saleh and the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed al-Halbusi, said the attack violated the sovereignty of the Arab country.

However, earlier on Wednesday, the spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said the premier had received word from Iran that its response to the US assassination of its top general was either imminent or under way.

“Shortly after midnight on Wednesday we received a verbal message from the Islamic Republic of Iran that the Iranian response to the assassination of martyr Qassem Soleimani had started or was about to start,” Reuters quoted the spokesman as saying.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said Iran’s missile attack was a military revenge for the top commander, stressing, however, that there is no retaliation proportionate to the assassination of General Soleimani other than the expulsion of US forces from the region.

As declared by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Zarif said, the true revenge for General Soleimani’s blood is that the US folly has marked the end of its presence in the region.

“The end of the US presence in the region, which will definitely happen, will herald glad tidings for the region and the generations to come, because the US presence in the region has brought about nothing but destruction and mischief,” he noted.

Iraq to summon Iranian envoy over missile attack

Meanwhile, Iraq’s foreign ministry said Wednesday it would summon Iran’s ambassador over Tehran’s ballistic missile attack on bases housing American and US-led coalition troops, for “violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

“We will not allow Iraq to be an arena of conflict, a corridor to carry out attacks or a base to hurt neighboring countries,” the ministry said.

The ministry earlier summoned the US ambassador over the American drone strike last week that killed top Iranian and Iraqi commanders and prompted Wednesday’s missile strikes.

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