On Monday, Iran told the UN that it had nothing to do with recent rocket attacks on US bases inside Iraq and said claims that Tehran was involved are “completely baseless and lacking legal credibility.”
After a rocket attack in Erbil, Iraq, killed a US contractor last month, President Biden bombed Iraqi militias in eastern Syria. The Pentagon said the targets they hit were facilities used by “Iranian-backed” militias and framed it as a response to the Erbil attack, although the US never presented evidence that the group they hit was responsible.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has not had any involvement, directly or indirectly, in any armed attacks by any entities or individuals against the United States in Iraq,” Iran’s UN envoy Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The US is quick to blame any violence against its forces in Iraq on Iran or “Iranian-backed” Shia militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which was formed in 2014 to fight ISIS. But the reality is, there are many forces that have their own reasons to fire on the US inside Iraq.
Most PMF groups are aligned with Iran, although how much control Tehran has over these militias is generally overblown by the US government and media outlets. All indications show that Iran is seeking to de-escalate with the US as it is hoping for sanctions relief from the new administration. Orchestrating attacks on US forces inside Iraq would not help Tehran achieve this goal.