In the face of increasing US and Israeli provocations, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused President Trump of fabricating the “pretext” for war. The comments came after the US deployed B-52 bombers to region that flew near Iran’s coast.
“Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region,” Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war.”
The US has been hyping the threat of Iranian-linked attacks in Iraq around the upcoming anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes.
Tensions started to simmer in November when a report came out that said President Trump reviewed options to strike an Iranian nuclear site. Iran responded to the news by urging caution and warned its allies in Iraq not to attack US targets. But some militias rejected the Iranian warning, and many groups inside Iraq have their own reasons to fight the US.
On December 20th, rockets were launched towards the US embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone. President Trump blamed the attack on Iran, despite a lack of evidence and Iran’s clear desire to avoid a military confrontation with the US before Trump leaves office.
Despite Iran’s cautious approach, the US provocations have stepped up. This week’s B-52 deployment was the third time since November that Washington sent long-range bombers to the region to intimidate Iran.