On Wednesday, Iraq President Barham Salih condemned Iran for violating his country’s sovereignty by launching more than a dozen missiles on its military bases of Al-Asad and Erbil, that house thousands of US troops. He called upon all parties to show restraint and to engage in dialogue to deescalate tensions in the region. Salih became the second important official in Iraq after Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi to denounce Tehran’s attack.
Unlike Salih, Iraq Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi did not outrightly condemn the missile attack by Iran. He stated that Iran had given prior intimation about the scope of the attack. Moreover, he noted that there were no reports of any casualties so far. However, he did stress that the world needed to avert the threat of a comprehensive war.
While Iran and the US have been at loggerheads for quite sometime, their relationship took a worse turn after a US air raid killed General Qassem Soleimani, considered by many as the second most powerful figure in Iran. General Soleimani had acquired a larger than life image due to his role in spreading Iranian influence in West Asia. The US accused General Soleimani and the Quds Force of killing hundreds of Americans.
Iran's missile attack on Wednesday was in retaliation to the killing of General Soleimani. While the US has not confirmed any casualties, Iranian state television claimed that at least 80 Americans were killed in the airstrike. The Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif defended the missile attack and clarified that his country did not seek war.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Wednesday, Ali Chegeni- Iran's envoy to India welcomed the intervention of India to help maintain peace and prosperity in west Asia. He asserted that Iran looked forward to initiatives from friendly countries based on peace and justice. Chegeni observed, “We are welcoming any intervention and any initiative from friendly countries like India and other countries based on peace, justice, anything that can help the peace and prosperity in the region.”