Iraq’s foreign ministry has summoned Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad to denounce his threat that Tehran would retaliate to an American attack anywhere in the world, including in Iraq.
The development comes as deadly protests have gripped Baghdad and spread since Tuesday to southern Iraqi provinces. So far, 19 people have been reported killed, including one policeman.
Thursday’s ministry statement said Iraqi official Abdul-Karim Hashem told Iran’s envoy, Iraj Masjedi, that American troops are in Iraq and at the request of the Iraqi government.
It said Hashem told Masjedi that Iraq would not accept becoming an arena for international conflicts.
Masjedi recently told Iraq’s Dijla TV that if the Americans attack Iran, Tehran “will strike back anywhere, including (in) Iraq.”
Iraq has been caught in the middle of US-Iran tensions in the Middle East, putting an additional strain on the fragile government in Baghdad that hosts thousands of US troops and Iran-backed militias.