SHAFAQNA– The United States announced on Friday that it will close its consulate in Basra, Iraq and evacuate its diplomatic staff following the increasing threats and indirect fire near U.S. facilities in recent weeks.
In a statement on Friday, Mike Pompeo issued that I have directed that a temporary relocation of diplomatic personnel in Iraq take place following the increasing and specific threats and incitement to attack our personnel and facilities in Iraq, emphasizing that Washington was pull together with Iraqi forces to address them.
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo had claimed that the US consulate office in Basra was attacked by Iran-backed groups and added United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns any attack on diplomats or diplomatic missions. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said closing of consulate was “unjustified and unnecessary”, Reuters reported.
He said there are evidence that show the role of foreign forces in attacking on Iran’s consulate office in Basra, adding the childish justification by the US officials for adventurism and implying insecurity in Iraq to put much pressure over the Iraqi government, but the move is totally forbidden and should be condemned.
Officials said US Embassy in Baghdad will provide consular services to people from the Basra.
According to Al Jazeerah, Iraq’s foreign ministry said in a statement “Foreign ministry regrets the American decision to pull its staff out of Basra”.
It added Iraq is committed to protecting foreign diplomatic missions on its territory and securing them.