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3 Feb, 2024 15:00

US strikes in Middle East a ‘strategic mistake’ – Iran

Tehran’s foreign ministry has commented on recent operations targeting militia groups in Syria and Iraq
US strikes in Middle East a ‘strategic mistake’ – Iran

The US has made a huge blunder by attacking targets in Iraq and Syria, as it will only further inflame tensions in the already turbulent region, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani has said.

In a statement on Saturday, Kanaani condemned the US airstrikes on militia groups in the two countries. American officials have said that the attacks targeted groups linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) Quds Force, an elite secret unit specializing in foreign operations, and came in response to an earlier attack on a US military post in Jordan that left three service members dead and dozens wounded.

The ministry’s spokesman insisted that Washington had violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, calling the decision “another adventure and strategic mistake by the American government, which will have no result other than the escalation of tension and instability in the region.”

He also stressed that by launching the strikes, the US was helping Israel, which is locked in conflict with the Palestinian armed group Hamas in Gaza. The latter has close ties to Tehran, and attacked the Jewish state in early October, with the fighting resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, including many civilians, and unprecedented destruction.

Kanaani added that the root cause of the current region-wide crisis is “the occupation of the Israeli regime” and its operations in Gaza, as well as “the genocide of the Palestinians with the unlimited support of the United States.”

However, the spokesman did not address US claims that it had attacked Iranian-affiliated groups. Tehran previously stated that regional groups that attacked American military facilities were acting independently and not on Iran’s orders.

On Friday, commenting on the new wave of US airstrikes in the region, US President Joe Biden stressed that the US “does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world” but warned of retaliation against those who do harm to Americans. Senior US officials have also said that they do not want conflict with Iran.

Prior to the US moves, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also said that Tehran “will not be the initiator of any war,” but vowed to “respond firmly” to anyone who would try to pressure his country.

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