Diplomatic Reactions from Iranian Strike in Iraq

As this publication reported last night, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched four missiles from Khuzestan, Iran towards Idlib, Syria, and seven missiles from East Azerbaijan, Iran towards Erbil, Iraq. Since those strikes, a flurry of diplomatic cables and announcements have emerged from the United States, Iran, Iraq, and the government of the Kurdistan Region (KRG). Below is a timeline of those transmissions.

The first public-facing announcement came from KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in which he condemned the IRGC attack and called on the Iraqi government to take a principled position against “flagrant violations of Iraq’s and Kurdistan’s sovereignty.”

The United States Department of State was the next to condemn the attacks an hour later:

The United States strongly condemns Iran’s attacks in Erbil today and offers condolences to the families of those who were killed. We oppose Iran’s reckless missile strikes, which undermine Iraq’s stability. We support the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s efforts to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.

By 0207 EST, nearly five hours after the initial condemnation by the KRG, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned “Iranian aggression” against Erbil and said that the Iraqi government would lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council. Iraq President Rashid made a statement simultaneously condemning the “violation of Iraqi soverightny”.

Once the KRG confirmed that four were killed and six were injured at around 0245 EST, US Ambassador to Iraq Romanowski made an official statement:

By 0300 EST, Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw called for demonstrations at the United Nations compound in the city.

By 0330 EST, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson doubled down on the strike, saying they were carried out legitimately to defend Iran’s sovereignty. This statement reportedly caused the Iraqi government to summon the Iranian Charge d’Affaires in Baghdad.

By 0509 EST, Iraq had recalled its ambassador from Iran in order to consult on the strikes. The Iraqi National Security Adviser al-Araji also told press that the IRGC missiles struck civilian targets and that Iranian claims of an Israeli spy center were “baseless”. KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani made similar claims.

Interstingly, PM Barzani also made several statements rallying behind the United States’ military forces in Iraq, saying that the threat of terroism is not over in the country and U.S. forces are there at the request of the Iraqi government. In the past year, especially in light of Quran brunigns in the West, the U.S. position in Iraq has seemed to become more and more untenable. Those negative public feelings stemming from Iranina-backed militias and Sadrists who oppose U.S. forces in Iraq are exacerbated by the ongoing missile and drone attacks on U.S. outposts since the commencement of the 2023 Gaza War.

However, those comments from PM Barzani and a unified condemnation of Iranian aggression offer an opportunity for the United States to turn negative Iraqi sentiments back at Iran for the first time in months.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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