Iranian Missiles Target U.S. Consulate in Northern Iraq as Biden Pushes to Restore Iran Nuclear Deal
The Associated Press: “Iran claimed responsibility Sunday for a missile barrage that struck near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex.”
As President Joe Biden prepares to restore the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranians fired missiles at the U.S. consulate in northern Iraq. At least 12 rockets fired from Iranian territory landed in the city of Erbil early Sunday morning.
“Iraqi security officials said at least six missiles were fired toward the US consulate in Erbil,” German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle confirmed. “Some of the missiles struck the Ain Assad airbase, which hosted the largest US deployment in Iraq. There were no casualties from the strikes,” the broadcaster added.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Iranian regime’s military and terrorist arm, took responsibility for the strike. “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for a dozen ballistic missiles that struck Iraq’s northern Kurdish regional capital of Erbil in the early hours of Sunday,” Reuters reported citing Iranian state media.
While the Iranian missile strike were primarily aimed at U.S. targets, the IRGC claimed that it was attacking “Zionist strategic centers” in retaliation for a recent Israeli strike that killed two IRGC operatives, Iran’s IRNA state news agency purported.
The Associated Press reported the details of the Iranian strike:
Iran claimed responsibility Sunday for a missile barrage that struck near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard earlier this week.
No injuries were reported in Sunday’s attack on the city of Irbil, which marked a significant escalation between the U.S. and Iran. Hostility between the longtime foes has often played out in Iraq, whose government is allied with both countries.
Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard said on its website that it attacked what it described as an Israeli spy center in Irbil. It did not elaborate, but in a statement said Israel had been on the offensive, citing the recent strike that killed two members of the Revolutionary Guard. The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying Iran fired 10 Fateh missiles, including several Fateh-110 missiles, which have a range of about 300 kilometers (186 miles).
An Iraqi official in Baghdad initially said several missiles had hit the U.S. consulate in Irbil, the intended target of the attack. Later, Lawk Ghafari, the head of Kurdistan’s foreign media office, said none of the missiles had struck the U.S. facility but that residential areas around the compound had been hit.
In a Twitter post, he said the lack of reaction from the international community to repeated attacks by Iran on Kurdistan “is of great concern” and was encouraging future attacks by Tehran.
A U.S. defense official said the strike was launched from neighboring Iran, and that it was still uncertain how many missiles were fired and where they landed. A second U.S. official said there was no damage at any U.S. government facility and that there was no indication the target was the consulate building, which is new and unoccupied.
Between the Iranian missile attack last night in Erbil and Russia’s demands for a sanctions white channel, I just don’t see how the Biden White House can move forward with its plans for an Iran Deal.
— Jonathan Schanzer (@JSchanzer) March 13, 2022
It is worth noting that under the provisions of the nearly-finalized nuclear deal the Biden administration may remove the IRGC from the list of international terrorist organizations — reversing the decision made by former President Donald Trump three years ago, the circulated draft of the agreement suggests.
After 11 months of talks in the Austrian capital Vienna, President Biden administration appears to have finalized the draft of the restore nuclear deal with Tehran.
The IRGC and its foreign terrorist wing, Quds Forces, also stand to benefit from the lifting of economic sanctions as part of the Biden nuclear deal. The IRGC funds and arms leading jihadi and terrorists groups across the Muslim world, including Gaza-based Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemen’s Ansar Allah Houthi militia.
President Biden’s nuclear pact with the Mullahs could also grant Russians a safe haven from U.S. and Western sanctions imposed in wake of the Ukraine invasion. On Thursday, chief Russian negotiator, Michael Ulyanov, hinted that the Biden White House could allow the Russians to use Iran as a “sanctions evasion hub.”DONATE
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