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Envoy: US Claims against Tehran Meant to Distract Attention

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said the US accusations about Tehran’s involvement in anti-Washington protests in Iraq are meant to deflect attention away from the 17-year invasion of Iraq and the carnage of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the Arab country by the US.

“The US accusations against Iran are meant to divert the public attention from Iraqi people’s indignation about the recent brutal massacre of Iraqis by Washington, and beyond that, for causing distraction from the invasion of Iraq that has over the past 17 years resulted in the death of more than 300,000 innocent Iraqis,” Takht Ravanchi said on Tuesday.

The envoy also underlined the pivotal role that the PMU has played in fight against the ISIL and the defeat of the Takfiri terrorist group in Iraq, saying the popular Iraqi volunteer forces were the most important guarantor of non-emergence of the terrorist outfit.

US forces on Sunday conducted drone strikes on a number of bases for Kata’ib Hezbollah, which is part of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in Western Anbar province, killing at least 25 individuals and leaving another 51 injured.

 The US attack prompted massive public anger in Iraq on Tuesday, with protesters storming the US Embassy in Baghdad and seizing the building after American diplomatic personnel had been forced to evacuate.

Reacting to the developments in Iraq, US President Donald Trump had said in a tweet earlier in the day that Iran would be to blame and also be held “fully responsible”.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” Trump tweeted. “We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the US Embassy in Iraq.”

Those casualties came in what the US described as a rocket attack targeting a military base located near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday.

Washington pointed the finger at Iran for that attack, an allegation vehemently rejected by Tehran.

In response to the incident, the US military launched the deadly air raids on Iraq’s PMU, which Washington and its allies claim is an ally of the Islamic Republic.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday that the US is a trans-regional player in the Middle East and benefits from destabilizing the region.

“Unlike others who embark on ‘defensive’ warmongering 1000s of miles from their own shores, Iran and Russia have cooperated for peace in Syria and are now presenting important proposals for peace in the Persian Gulf,” he added, after holding meetings and a press conference in the capital city of Moscow.

In a joint presser with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in the Russian capital city of Moscow on Monday, Zarif said that Washington is after forcing the world to follow the White House orders, reiterating that Tehran and Moscow are firmly against such a unilateralism and rule of dictatorship.

Also in the same presser, Zarif said, “Unlike others who embark on warmongering in our region, Iran and Russia have presented important proposals for peace in the region, which are so much similar, including Russia’s proposal for talks in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s proposal for Hormuz Peace.”

He made a reference to US’ violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.

In a statement on Monday, the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad condemned the US’ violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, adding that such a move is intended to serve Israeli interest in the region.

The mission extended condolences to the Iraqi nation and the bereaved families, adding that such moves of Washington are the main contributor to instability and insecurity in the region.

“This move of the US was in line with Washington’s policy of interference in the internal affair of the regional countries, based on lame excuses and unsubstantiated accusations in order to safeguard the interests of the Zionist regime,” the statement underlined.

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