United States issues warns Iran over attack threats

United States issues warns Iran over attack threats

He warned that the U.S. would respond to any more attacks.

These threats have increased during the past 24 hours with "repeated incidents of indirect fire from elements of those militias directed at our Consulate General in Basrah and our Embassy in Baghdad".

Beginning in July, hundreds of protesters have descended on city of Basra, demanding much-needed government services and lambasting the rampant corruption they say plagues the regime of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

He said that Washington was working with Iraqi forces and US allies to address the threats.

"Washington considers Iran responsible for any damage caused to the Americans, or our diplomatic institutions in Iraq or Iranian forces or associated groups", said Pompeo.

The US decision comes amid growing tensions with Iran, after President Donald Trump re-instated economic sanctions on Tehran following the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

In announcing the closure of the Basra consulate, which is located in the city's airport, the U.S. State Department said it had instituted an "ordered departure", which means the staff will be drawn down and relocated at least temporarily, although some personnel could remain in the diplomatic compound. He, however, called the U-S decision suspicious.

At the same meeting, National Security Adviser John Bolton joined in the tough talk against Iran: "If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay", he said.

On Friday, a senior Iran military leader warned the United States against crossing Iran's "red lines".

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on September 12 rejected as "provocative and irresponsible" U.S. accusations regarding the unrest in Basra, saying Washington can not cover up its involvement in fomenting tension in Iraq by blaming others.

Earlier this month, protesters in Basra set alight government and political buildings, including the Iranian consulate and the headquarters of an Iran-backed paramilitary force, after a number of people were killed in clashes with police.

Tehran rebuffed the claim that security threats from Iran led to the removal of personnel from the U.S. consulate, calling it a 'ludicrous justification, ' according to the state-run Press TV on Saturday, citing the country's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qassemi.

The American diplomat claimed Iran was trying to use the potential risk to United States staff there as a form of leverage on the administration of Donald Trump and his anti-Iran policies.

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