Iraq regrets USA decision to close consulate in Basra

U.S. orders evacuation of diplomats from Iraqi city of Basra, citing threats from Iran

Pompeo warns Iran against 'attacks on US facilities' after closing Iraq consulate

The Secretary of State also said he had placed the Consulate in Basrah on "ordered departure".

However, it is quite crystal that U.S. officials' "childish justifications" are part of the country's adventurism and plot to depict Iraq as an insecure country to exert pressure on the Arab country's government, the Iranian spokesperson said.

Pompeo said the USA would hold Iran responsible for any harm to its citizens or facilities and accused Tehran of failing to prevent recent rocket attacks directed at the American consulate, the BBC said.

The decision adds to mounting tension between the United States and Iran, which is the target of increasing USA economic sanctions.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Saturday regretted that United States has chose to pull its diplomats from Iraq's southern city of Basra.

The State Department will close the USA consulate in Basra, Iraq, and evacuate the diplomats stationed there, citing security risks from Iran, according to administration officials.

"The ministry regrets the American decision to pull its staff out of Basra", a statement said.

The Iraqi government 'confirms that Iraq is committed to protecting foreign diplomatic missions on its territories and securing them, ' Iraq Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub said in a statement.

"I have made clear that Iran should understand that the U.S. will respond promptly and appropriately to any such attacks".

In mid-September, the White House warned that it would hold Iran responsible for any attack by groups backed by Tehran against American nationals or U.S. interests in Iraq.

The consulate closure is temporary and involves relocating diplomatic personnel.

In a speech addressing the United Nation's General Assembly speech earlier this week, President Trump hammered Iran over its support for terrorism and aggression against USA allies in the Middle East.

The United States of America has given Iran notice that it will retaliate to any violence against its nationals, entities or partners.

An Iraqi protester holds up an Iranian flag as another sets it on fire, next to a portrait depicting Iran's former and current Supreme Leaders Ayatollah Khomeini and Khamenei, during demonstrations against the government and the lack of basic services in Basra on September 7, 2018.

In May, Trump withdrew the USA from an worldwide deal to put curbs on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for easing sanctions.

Basra has already been rocked by violent protests seen by experts as a rejection of the Iraqi political establishment that has held on to power - with the support of the United States and Iran - despite failing to improve people's lives there.

Earlier this month, three mortar rounds also hit the fortified Green Zone area in Baghdad, home to the USA embassy, without causing injuries and with the perpetrators unclear.

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