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Iran summons Swiss envoy to protest over US 'warmongering' in Iraq

Outraged Iraqi protesters try to storm the US Embassy in Baghdad, protesting Washington's attacks on armed battalions belong to Iranian-backed Hashd Al-Shaabi forces on 31 December 2019 [Murtadha Sudani/Anadolu Agency]

Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador yesterday, who represents US interests in Iran, in protest against Washington's recent air strikes in Iraq and American officials' "warmongering" statements.

According to Iran's Foreign Ministry website, Tehran had presented the Swiss envoy with "Iran's strong protest against warmongering statements by U.S. officials in violation of the United Nations Charter,"

US President Donald Trump threatened Iran after blaming it for an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, after angry protestors stormed the building in reaction to US air strikes against camps belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah (KH) faction of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, which although supported by Iran, forms part of Iraq's security forces, killing 25. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also held Iran "accountable" for the attacks on the embassy.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was swift to respond to Trump's statements declaring that Tehran will "unhesitatingly confront any party that threatens it".

The American attacks were understood to be in response to a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base where the KH were based – in the northern city of Kirkuk. One American "contractor" was killed, his identity has not been released, and several Iraqi and US military personnel were injured.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry website reiterated that the attack was on a sovereign state and that it had killed and injured Iraqi youths "without providing the slightest evidence of their culpability" and that the US should stop its "occupation" instead of blaming other nations.

READ: Iran denies role in US embassy violence, warns against retaliation

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