Iran sanctions US ambassador to Iraq, two diplomats after US blacklists envoy

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Iran on Friday imposed sanctions on US ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller and two other diplomats for participating in “terrorist” acts against its interests, just a day after Washington blacklisted Iranian envoy to Iraj Masjedi and two senior Hezbollah officials.

“US [Ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Tueller, has had a central role in coordinating terrorist acts in Iraq & beyond, in ... assassination of Gen. [Qassem] Soleimani... Today, Iran designated him & two other officials involved,” the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.

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The two other diplomats are Tueller’s deputy Steve Fagin and head of US consulate in Arbil.

The US officials “have effectively engaged in organizing, financing, leading and committing terrorist acts against the interests of the government or citizens” of Iran, the foreign ministry said in a statement released on Twitter.

Iran accused the officials of being involved in the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, supporting “extremist and terrorist groups,” and imposing sanctions on Iran and dozens of officials.

Soleimani, who was the head of the Iranian Qods Force, was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad’s airport in January.

“Anti-Iran moves won’t go unanswered,” Khatibzadeh said.

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IRGC, five other Iran groups sanctioned for US election interference

US sanctions Iranian ambassador to Iraq, two senior Hezbollah officials

Washington had on Thursday imposed new sanctions on five Iranian entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, over “brazen attempts” to interfere with the upcoming US election.

The Department of Treasury also announced Thursday that the US had sanctioned Masjedi and two senior Hezbollah officials.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have been on the rise since President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

They were reignited when Soleimani was killed.

(With AFP and Reuters)

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