The Iranian ambassador to Iraq says the latest missile strike by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on secret bases of the Israeli Mossad spy agency in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region was strictly necessary, as operations against Iran's security were being plotted and orchestrated there.
Iraj Masjedi made the remarks while addressing an international conference in Iraq's holy city of Karbala on Monday.
The Iranian diplomat said Israeli operatives used the Iraqi Kurdistan region to plot and launch operations against Iran’s security, emphasizing that Iranian officials had time and again warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s authorities against their activities, but to no avail.
Masjedi highlighted that the missile attack was carried out in order to safeguard Iran’s security, "and was neither intended to violate Iraq’s sovereignty nor was meant to insult the Arab country and its nation."
“We expect you to force Israelis out of Iraqi soil and get rid of them,” Masjedi addressed Kurdish officials, adding, “However, if they are not expelled, will we stand by with our hands tied behind us to [allow them] carry out operations against our security? Definitely not."
The Iranian ambassador emphasized that the attack was aimed at Israel's training centers and did not target the United States or the Iraqi government.
“Some media outlets have asserted that we targeted the US consulate. I'm surprised by such allegations. It is true that a conflict has been going on between us and the United States for forty years, but the recent operation was not against them. It was an operation against an Israeli base, where plots against our security were being hatched,” Masjedi said.
A dozen ballistic missiles hit secret Mossad bases in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, reportedly leaving several Israeli operatives dead.
Citing security sources, Iraq’s Sabereen News reported that two Mossad training centers were targeted by ballistic missiles in the early hours of Sunday.
Al-Mayadeen television news network said a Mossad base on the Masif-Saladin Street in Erbil was “fully razed to the ground and a number of Israeli mercenaries were killed or injured.”
In a statement issued earlier on Sunday, the IRGC indicated that the operation was in response to an Israeli airstrike on the Syrian capital of Damascus last Monday, in which two IRGC officers were killed. The IRGC identified the two slain officers as colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saeidnejad, warning that Israel would "pay for this crime."