Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 8, 2020

Newsline: Iraqi foreign ministry will summon Tehran envoy over strikes

Iraq’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it rejected Iran’s missile attack on Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops and would summon Tehran’s ambassador in Baghdad to convey its protest. “The foreign ministry rejects these attacks and considers them a violation of Iraqi sovereignty,” it said in a statement. “It stresses that Iraq is an independent state and that its internal security is its priority. We will not allow it to become a battlefield. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-diplomacy/iraqi-foreign-ministry-will-summon-tehran-envoy-over-strikes-statement-idUSKBN1Z72CJ) “The foreign ministry will summon the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ambassador and convey this to him.”

Newsline: U.S. freezes Iranian visa appointments, restricts travel of Iranians

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia announced it has suspended services for U.S. visa applicants from Iran “due to recent events in the Middle East.” Because there is no U.S. embassy in Iran, many Iranians go through the Yerevan embassy to apply for U.S. visas. It is one of three embassies that issues visas to Iranians residing in Iran. (https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/u-s-embassy-suspends-iranian-visa-appointments) The freeze on Iranian visa appointments comes after the U.S. assassinated Iran’s top military general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on Friday. The killing of Soleimani, a prominent public figure, prompted threats of retaliation from Iran and widespread fear of an all-out war. The embassy’s announcement came prior to reports of Iranian missiles fired at two U.S. military bases in Iraq early Wednesday morning. President Trump vowed Saturday to respond “disproportionally” to any reprisals by bombing Iranian cultural sites. Following the killing of Soleimani, the U.S. began to restrict the travel of some Iranians as well as Americans of Iranian descent. Over the weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection held more than 100 Iranian-born U.S. residents — many of them U.S. citizens or green card holders — at the U.S.-Canada border for up to 10 hours. On Monday, the U.S. denied a visa to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, preventing him from attending an upcoming United Nations Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday.

Newsline: Iran summons Brazil’s charge d’affaires in Tehran after Soleimani comments

Iran has summoned Brazil’s Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran after the government in Brasilia expressed support for the United States in the “fight against the scourge of terrorism” following the death of an Iranian general in a U.S. drone strike. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-iran-brazil/iran-summons-brazils-charge-daffaires-in-tehran-after-soleimani-comments-idUSKBN1Z61IF) The killing of Qassem Soleimani, widely viewed as the second most powerful figure in Iran and the architect of its efforts to extend influence in the Middle East, has triggered a major escalation of tensions in the region. Washington considered him a terrorist responsible for the deaths of many Americans and others, but for many Iranians he was a national hero, and hundreds of thousands of people attended his funeral on Monday. “We inform you that Brazil’s Chargé d’Affaires in Tehran, and representatives of other countries that spoke about the events in Baghdad, were summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, within the usual diplomatic practices,” the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The conversation was calm and cordial, it said, adding it would not comment on the details of the meeting. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday the country rejected all forms of terrorism “anywhere in the world”. He also said Brazil would continue to trade with Iran and that he would speak with the foreign minister about Tehran’s decision to call in Brazil’s envoy.