DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran on Friday blacklisted the U.S. ambassador in Iraq and two other diplomats, following a similar move by the United States against Iran’s envoy to Baghdad, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.
Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter that
ambassador Matthew Tueller “has had a central role in coordinating terrorist acts in Iraq & beyond” including the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. missile strike at Baghdad in January.
Iraq is one of the few countries that is allied to both the United States and Iran, which both provided military support in a 2014-2017 campaign against Islamic State. Iraqis worry that the two countries could use Iraqi territory for a proxy war.
Tehran’s move, which allows the seizure of assets within Iran of sanctioned individuals, is symbolic and unlikely to have any impact on the U.S. diplomats.
On Thursday, the United States blacklisted Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, saying he has for years overseen the training and support of Iraqi militia groups responsible for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Jon Boyle and Peter Graff)