Tehran denies supplying ballistic missiles to Iraqi militias
Iran on Saturday denied a Reuters report that it had transferred ballistic missiles to militias loyal to it in Iraq.
“The lie spread by some media about the shipment of Iranian-made missiles to Iraq is totally irrelevant and groundless,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.
“This news only sows panic among the countries in the region and is in line with their policy of spreading Iranophobia,” Qasemi said.
They seek to influence Iran’s foreign relations primarily with its neighbors, he said.
Friday’s report said several dozen rockets capable of hitting Israel and Tehran’s Sunni rival Saudi Arabia had been deployed with Iran’s Shia proxies in Iraq.
He added that Iran was working to provide its allies with missile manufacturing facilities and had trained militia members in the use of the new weapons.
The deployment aims to improve Iran’s ability to retaliate against any Western or Arab attacks on its territory, as well as to expand its options for attacking opponents in the region, Reuters said.
The report cites “three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources.”
Iran’s proxies, allied militias as well as its own forces are involved in internal conflicts in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.
The move makes Iran’s allies in Iraq more apt to attack US troops in the country should Iran come under attack.
“We have bases like this in many places and Iraq is one of them. If America attacks us, our friends will attack the interests of America and its allies in the region,” a senior IRGC commander said.
Iran has long used its Shia proxies and allies in Iraq to retaliate against its adversaries. According to transcripts of the 2007 interrogations of a senior Shiite military and cleric in Iraq declassified earlier this year, Iran was heavily implicated in attacks by Iraqi Shiite militias on US troops in the years following the American invasion of the country in 2003.
Qais al-Khazali, who now leads the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia which won 15 parliamentary seats in the country’s May elections, detailed the extent of Iranian involvement in the country during the 2007 interrogation , The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing recently declassified documents. documents.