Lacking Evidence, Pompeo Blames Iran for Rocket Fire on Baghdad Embassy

Accuses Iran of 'wanton disregard for Iraqi sovereignty'

Three rockets hit the US Embassy compound in Baghdad on Sunday, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in keeping with his foreign policy priorities, was quick to make this all about Iran, despite a conspicuous lack of evidence Iran was in any way involved.

Pompeo called Iraqi PM Adel Abdul Mahdi to express this outrage, telling him that Iran’s attack demonstrated a “wanton disregard for Iraqi sovereignty.” The State Department also pushed Iraq to do something to protect the embassy.

But who actually fired the rockets? That’s not clear at all. Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the government-run Shi’ite militia group that the US usually just calls Iran for narrative’s sake, has denied any involvement. One of the PMF groups, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, pointed out that the type of rocket that hit the embassy wasn’t even the type any of the groups field anymore, saying it was old and not used in years by any of the militias.

That should be fairly easy to confirm for the US as well, since a lot of the PMF groups are armed by the Iraqi government, which is armed by the US. Iran, likewise, wouldn’t be depending on very outdated rockets, as the US has consistently played up the threat posed by Iran’s large, advanced missile program.

Pompeo has long been an advocate of US hostility toward Iran, and anything that happens even close to Iran he makes sure is blamed on them. The lack of evidence is, as ever, a reason to take his position with a grain of salt, but it’s clearly never been an obstacle for him before, and won’t be now.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.