| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Tehran slams attack on its consulate, urges Iraq to protect Iranian missions

Tehran has strongly condemned an assault against its consulate in Iraq’s holy city of Karbala, urging Baghdad to meet its commitments with regard to protecting Iran’s diplomatic missions in the Arab country.

“Unfortunately, last night, some individuals raided Iran’s consulate in Karbala, which the consulate immediately pursued through relevant authorities in Iraq,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a weekly press conference on Monday.

Khatibzadeh said Iran’s Embassy to Baghdad also followed up on the issue, and subsequently, Iraqi police and security forces dealt with the assailants.

On Sunday night, attackers attempted to set fire to the Iranian consulate, as they gathered outside the consulate burning tires and several trailers parked outside, according to police and videos circulating online.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the attack on its diplomatic missions in Iraq and, within the framework of the 1961 Convention, hopes that the Iraqi government will fulfill its obligations to protect and safeguard Iran’s diplomatic missions,” he added.

The spokesman said the Foreign Ministry sent Iran’s formal protest to the Iraqi Embassy in Tehran in a letter on Sunday night.

Elsewhere during the presser, Khatibzadeh confirmed talks with Saudi Arabia, saying the goal of the talks is to secure bilateral and regional interests.

“We have always welcomed such talks in any form or at any level and this is not our new policy, but let us wait and see the outcome of the negotiations and judge accordingly,” he said, noting that it may be still premature to talk about the outcome at this stage.

The remarks came days after a Saudi Foreign Ministry official confirmed the talks, saying they were intended to reduce regional tensions.

“As to current Saudi-Iranian talks, they aim to explore ways to reduce tensions in the region,” Ambassador Rayed Krimly, head of policy planning at the ministry, told Reuters on Friday.

Krimly also said that it was too early to judge the outcome of talks as “our evaluation will be based on verifiable deeds, and not proclamations.”