Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has hit back at US State Secretary Mike Pompeo for expressing concern over a false report on transfer of Iranian missiles to Iraq.
“The US state secretary’s expression of concern over the alleged transfer of Iranian missiles to Iraq and violation of [UN] Security Council 2231 Resolution is really awkward and [an attempt] to deceive public opinion,” Qassemi told ILNA on Sunday.
“The US State Secretary has not only deceived public opinion over a baseless issue such as transfer of missiles, but is citing a resolution that has nothing to do with such invalid issues,” Qassemi said.
The interesting point is that the US has cited a resolution that has been breached by itself, he went on to say.
Stressing the need for the US to refrain from interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs, Qassemi said that “the US’ military presence in the region is the main cause of instability and insecurity in this region.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the main actor in creating stability and security in this region and it is on the front line of the battle against terrorism and extremism,” he said.
“Today, Iran and Iraq have best-ever ties and the US’ divisive policies cannot hamper long-standing historic, cultural and political relations between the two countries,” he said.
Qassemi was reacting to a tweet by Pompeo who said the US is deeply concerned over reports of Iran moving ballistic missiles into Iraq.
If found to be true, it’s a “gross violation of Iraqi sovereignty” and breaches UNSC Resolution 2231, Pompeo said.
He was referring to a Reuters report that Iran had provided missiles to allied Shiite groups in Iraq in the past few months.
The Reuters report cited unidentified Iranian, Iraqi and Western intelligence officials as its source.
The UNSC 2231 endorsed a nuclear deal in 2015 between Iran and world powers. Iran says the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, which came early May, is a violation of the resolution.