"It was an attempt to shuffle the cards and stoke tension amid an escalation between the US and Iran. Someone is trying to ratchet up tensions. The position of the military and security forces is clear: we will protect Iraq’s territory and citizens, diplomatic missions and everything else on its soil," the spokesman said.
Rasul added he hoped that diplomats would succeed in "putting an end to the ongoing crisis." It sparked after the United States sent warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to an unspecified threat from Iran. US non-essential diplomatic staff were pulled from Iraq last week.
The reports regarding the explosion emerged after last week the US State Department ordered the recall of non-emergency government employees from the US embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil. Additionally, the US State Department urged American citizens to abandon their visits to Iraq because of threats in the region linked to "terrorism, kidnapping and armed conflict."