Within 24 hours, Iran launched missile and drone strikes on targets in three countries — Iraq, Syria and Pakistan — and took the extraordinary step of announcing its responsibility for the attacks, triggering anger from its neighbors.
The developments have heightened concerns over the possibility of a wider Middle East conflict, as the Israel-Hamas war and daily Israeli bombardment of the Gaza enclave passes the 100-day mark.
Baghdad recalled its ambassador to Iran after the Monday night attack on its northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region killed four civilians and injured at least six. Tehran said the strike targeted an Israeli spy hub near the U.S. consulate in Erbil, the Kurdistan regional capital city. Iraqi Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani rejected the Iranian claim, describing the attack as a “crime against the Kurdish people.”
Iraq’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, called the attacks a “violation of international law” and said it would file a complaint with the U.N. Security Council. France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Iran was “contributing to the escalation of regional tensions — and it must stop.”
Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday night, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian defended his country’s actions. [Continue reading…]