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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

US warns Iran it will respond to attacks by Tehran allies in Iraq

Statement by White House press secretary accuses Iran of failing to prevent attacks

Clashes took place at the Iranian consulate in Basra in protest at Tehran's involvement in Iraq. AP

The United States warned Iran on Tuesday that it will “respond swiftly and decisively” to any attacks by Tehran’s allies in Iraq that result in injury to Americans or damage US facilities.

A statement by the White House press secretary accused Iran of failing to prevent attacks in recent days on the US Consulate in Basra and the American Embassy compound in Baghdad.

“Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons,” the press secretary said.

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“The United States will hold the regime in Tehran accountable for any attack that results in injury to our personnel or damage to United States Government facilities. America will respond swiftly and decisively in defence of American lives.”

On Friday, three mortar bombs landed inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where the US Embassy is located, but did not injure anyone or cause damage, the Iraqi military said.

The mortar attack was the first in several years in the Green Zone, which houses parliament, government buildings and foreign embassies.

The US Consulate in Basra is near the airport, which was attacked by rockets on Saturday. No damage or casualties were reported.

Protesters in Basra angry over political corruption ransacked and torched Iraqi government buildings last week. The Iranian consulate was set alight by demonstrators shouting condemnation of what many see as Iran’s influence in Iraq’s affairs.

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