TEHRAN: Iran’s top security official has denounced an assassination bid on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, linking it to “foreign think tanks”.
In a statement, Ali Shamkhani, who heads the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) of Iran, called the attack on Kadhimi a “sedition”, which he said “must be traced back to foreign think tanks.”
Shamkhani, referring to unnamed “foreign think tanks”, said they have brought “nothing but insecurity, discord and instability” to the people of Iraq “through creation and support of terrorist groups and occupation of this country for years.”
Shamkhani, a former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander, has been a strong critic of the US presence in Iraq.
Earlier, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt with armed drones that targeted his home, with officials saying he was unharmed.
The attack was a major escalation amid tensions sparked by the refusal of Iran-backed militias to accept last month’s parliamentary election results.
“I am fine and among my people. Thank God,” the prime minister tweeted shortly after the attack. He called for calm and restraint, “for the sake of Iraq.”
He later appeared on Iraqi television, seated behind a desk in a white shirt, looking calm and composed. “Cowardly rocket and drone attacks don’t build homelands and don’t build a future,” he said.
In a statement, the government said an explosives-laden drone tried to hit al-Kadhimi’s home early on Sunday.
Residents of Baghdad heard the sound of an explosion followed by heavy gunfire from the direction of the Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and government offices.
The statement released by state-run media said security forces were “taking the necessary measures in connection with this failed attempt.”
Two Iraqi officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that seven of al-Kadhimi’s security guards were injured in the attack with two armed drones which occurred in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone area.