Iran blasts 'audacity' of US to blame it for Iraq violence

Protesters burn property in front of the US embassy compound, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Protesters burn property in front of the US embassy compound, in Baghdad, Iraq.PHOTO: AP

TEHERAN (AFP) - Teheran hit out on Tuesday (Dec 31) at the "audacity" of Washington to blame it for violent anti-US demonstrations in Iraq, warning the United States to review its policies in the region.

"The surprising audacity of American officials is so much that after killing at least 25... and violating the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, that now... they attribute the Iraqi people's protest against their cruel acts to the Islamic Republic of Iran," said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

His statement came after US President Donald Trump accused Iran of killing an American civilian contractor and "orchestrating" the storming of the US embassy in Baghdad earlier on Tuesday.

Mousavi said the claim was an insult to the people of Iraq.

"How and based on what logic do you expect the nation of Iraq to be silent in the face of all these atrocities?" he asked.

In response to rocket attacks that killed the contractor in northern Iraq, the US launched air strikes Sunday on an Iran-backed militant group that killed 25 people in western Iraq.

"The Americans ignore the Iraqi nation's liberty and drive for independence on one hand, and on the other forget their own role in supporting Saddam and Daesh," Mousavi said, referring to former dictator Saddam Hussein and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

The statement rejected US charges against Iran, warned against any "reckless and wrong reaction" and urged the White House to "reconsider its destructive policies in the region".