An Iranian Foreign Ministry official has denounced a recent deadly attack targeting a group of Iranian pipeline workers in Iraq, saying the Islamic Republic will not allow “Takfiri terrorists” to hinder Tehran-Baghdad relations.
On Sunday, Iran Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian described bilateral Tehran-Baghdad ties as “strategic” and said, “We will not allow Takfiri terrorists to get in the way of cooperation between the two countries and nations.”
On December 13, masked gunmen shot dead 15 Iranian and three Iraqi gas pipeline workers near the village of Balad Ruz, situated some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Another five Iranians and two Iraqis were wounded in the attack.
The victims were working on a pipeline projected to carry natural gas from Iran to its western neighbor when they came under attack.
The Iranian diplomat further warned against the repercussions of growing insecurity in the Middle East, stressing, “We consider the security of Iraq and the region to be connected.”
Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered condolences to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the death of Iranians in the Friday terrorist attack.
On Saturday, Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danayifar visited the site of the attack alongside a group of top Iraqi commanders.
The Iranian envoy said the attack was aimed at disrupting public service and effective development projects whose timely implementation would prove the efficiency of the Iraqi government.
On October 23, Maliki warned that Iraq is facing a “war of genocide.”
“It has become clear...that Iraq is subjected to a war of genocide targeting all of its components,” the Iraqi premier added.