TEHRAN (FNA)- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that Iran has blacklisted the US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller and two other diplomats over their key role in carrying out acts of terror, violating the fundamental principles of human rights and imposing ‘cruel and illegal sanctions’ against the Iranian nation.
“US Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller has had a central role in coordinating terrorist acts in Iraq & beyond, in the criminal assassination of General Soleimani and in advancing sanctions against our people,” Khatibzadeh wrote on his Twitter account.
“Today, Iran designated him and two other officials involved. Anti-Iran moves won’t go unanswered,” he added.
In a statement issued on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that in cooperation with other responsible bodies it had imposed sanctions on Tueller, Steve Fagin, the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Baghdad, and Erbil Rob Waller, the Consul General, based on adequate evidence and in line with a bill overwhelmingly approved by Iranian lawmakers in 2017 to confront “America’s terrorist and adventurous actions” in the region.
“The three American diplomats have had an effective engagement in organizing, financing, leading and committing terrorist acts against the interests of the government or citizens of Iran,” the statement added.
They had also supported terrorist groups, including Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra – formerly known as al-Nusra Front – and played an effective role in promoting state terrorism against regional nations, it said.
According to the statement, the three individuals were also involved in the assassination of Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in early January.
Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.
The airstrike also martyred Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi military men were martyred by the missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
It was the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.
The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.
Meantime, Iran announced in late June that it had issued arrest warrants for 36 officials of the US and other countries who have been involved in the assassination of the martyred General Soleimani.
“36 individuals who have been involved or ordered the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including the political and military officials of the US and other governments, have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued for them by the judiciary officials and red alerts have also been issued for them via the Interpol,” Prosecutor-General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr said.
He said that the prosecuted individuals are accused of murder and terrorist action, adding that US President Donald Trump stands at the top of the list and will be prosecuted as soon as he stands down presidency after his term ends.