The United States President Donald Trump warned Iran on Wednesday saying he would hold the Islamic Republic accountable “if one American is killed” in rocket attacks in Iraq.
Taking to Twitter, President Trump blamed Tehran for the rocket attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad. After a meeting with senior officials at the White House, President Trump said that Iran was behind rocket attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday.
“Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq,” he added, before offering “some friendly health advice to Iran: if one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over”.
…Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
The latest attacks in Iraq killed at least one Iraqi civilian and damaged the embassy compound. The attacks come at a time when tensions are growing tensions between the United States and Iran amidst the last days of Trump’s presidency.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already pointed the finger at Iran and the US Central Command that covers the region also said that the rocket attack was almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.
“The United States will hold Iran accountable for the deaths of any Americans that result from the work of these Iranian-backed rogue militia groups,” US Central Command added.
Iran rejects US allegations, asks Trump administration not to provoke
Meanwhile, Iran has dismissed the allegations made by the US and responded to US authorities on Monday asking not to provoke “tensions”. Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned the latest rocket attack in a tweet on December 21, refuting US accusations saying that the allegations are being made to create tensions.
Interestingly, in January this year, President Trump had ordered the drone attack to kill the powerful Iranian general and IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in retaliation to the similar attack from Iranian-backed militias against US assets in Iraq. Iran had also raised the red flag of doom above its tallest mosque symbolising that a war with the US was coming. The latest attacks on US embassy might trigger a similar retaliation from the US against Iranian-militia in Iraq.
The latest tensions also come at the backdrop of renewed talks between Iran and the United States over the issue of the nuclear deal. The outgoing President Trump has been extremely harsh in terms of his policy towards Iran. However, President-elect Joe Biden has expressed his willingness to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, from which Trump administration pulled out in 2018. Any attacks on Iran by the US now would make the peace talks between the two countries unlikely.