US working to help Iraq get missile defense capabilities: White House

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The US condemned Iran’s ballistic missile attack on Iraq’s Kurdish regional capital of Erbil and said that Washington is working to help Baghdad get missile defense capabilities, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday.

“But the US is absolutely clear, we will do whatever it takes to defend our people, our interests, and our allies, and we are in consultation with the Iraqi government and the government in Iraqi Kurdistan, in part to help them get the missile defense capabilities to be able to defend themselves in their cities,” Sullivan said in an interview with CNN’s “Face the Nation”.

He added: “We condemn Iran for carrying out this attack. We're still gathering information on what precisely the target was. What we know at this hour… is that no US facilities were hit. No US persons were harmed.”

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Earlier on Sunday, Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region security forces announced that a “dozen ballistic missiles” targeted Erbil, including the US consulate under construction, causing damage but without any major casualties.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards claimed the attack which they said targeted Israeli “strategic centers” in Erbil.

The attack on Erbil comes after the IRGC announced last Tuesday that an Israeli strike killed two of its members in Syria, vowing to take revenge.

Consequences for Iran nuclear deal

Tensions between the US and Iran remain high as the negotiations over reviving the abandoned 2015 Iran nuclear deal are at an impasse.

Asked about the consequences of the Erbil attack for the Iranian nuclear talks, Sullivan said: “The various negotiators are back home in their capitals and we will have to see what happens in the days ahead with respect to the diplomacy around the nuclear deal.”

“One thing I will say is that the only thing more dangerous than Iran armed with ballistic missiles and advanced military capabilities is an Iran that has all of those things and a nuclear weapon and President [Joe] Biden is still determined to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” he added.

Read more:

Iraq demands “clear explanation” from Iran over Erbil attack, summons ambassador

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claim responsibility for missile attack on Iraq’s Erbil

Missile strike on Iraq’s Erbil creates risk for Iran talks: France

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