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White House Threatens Iran Over Militant Attacks in Iraq

Alex Wayne
Pedestrians pass a giant mural depicting Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. Iran's oil industry needs $100 billion to $500 billion over the next five years, Iran's state-run news agency IRNA reported on Aug. 3, citing Saeed Ghavampour, general manager of the oil ministry's strategic planning. Photographer: Simon Dawson

The White House said it would hold Iran accountable if any U.S. citizens were harmed in violent protests in Iraq that the Trump administration says have been fueled by the Islamic Republic.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Iranian “proxies” had recently conducted “life-threatening attacks” on the U.S. consulate in Basra and its embassy compound in Baghdad.

“Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons,” she said in a statement. “The United States will hold the regime in Tehran accountable for any attack that results in injury to our personnel or damage to United States Government facilities. America will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives.”

She didn’t elaborate.

Violent protests rocked Basra last week, leaving at least 15 people dead and government offices, including the Iranian consulate, burned, the Washington Post reported. The upheaval dealt a significant blow for pro-U.S. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who’s seeking a second term.

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