Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said enemies were trying to drive a wedge between Tehran and Baghdad.
He said this in his condemnation of deadly U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, official IRNA news agency reported.
“I, together with the Iranian government and nation strongly condemn this evil act of America,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.
The U.S. strikes in Iraq and Syria on Sunday targeted the Kataib Hezbollah militia group, which was blamed for an attack last week that killed a U.S. citizen.
But the Iranian leader dismissed the U.S. officials’ claims that Iran was behind the anti-American moves in Iraq.
He said that the United States takes revenge on the Iraqi popular forces since they defeated the “Daesh,” also known as the Islamic State militants in Iraq.
Dozens of protesters set up camp outside the gates of the embassy on Wednesday, one day after thousands converged on Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone to decry U.S. strikes that killed at least 25 militiamen.
Chanting “Death to America,” angry protesters on Tuesday broke into the U.S. embassy compound and set fire to one of its gates.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has blamed the attack on Iran and said the country will “pay a very big price.”
Trump spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi by phone on Tuesday and “emphasised the need to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper called on the government of Iraq to “fulfil its international responsibilities” to protect US citizens in the country.
However, the US it will immediately deploy 750 soldiers to Iraq “as an appropriate and precautionary action.”