Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has revealed that Tehran has received intelligence from Iraq indicating that Americans might come under attack from "Israeli agent-provocateurs". Zarif added that the purportedly planned attacks are intended to force the hand of US President Donald Trump to retaliate, apparently against Iran, which Washington has blamed for past attacks on its positions and buildings in Iraq.
The minister also cautioned POTUS against falling for the alleged false-flag attacks, warning that his actions could "backfire badly", not only against the US, but also against his "BFFs".
New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 2, 2021
Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs.
The American contingency in Iraq has routinely come under rocket fire, which has affected the country's embassy in Baghdad's so-called "Green Zone", as well as Iraqi bases hosting US troops. Washington claims local militias, purportedly backed by Iran, are responsible for the attacks, but Iran has only claimed responsibility for a missile attack against military bases in January 2020.
The latter came in the response to the 3 January 2020 US drone strike, which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was leaving Baghdad's International Airport where he arrived to lead a diplomatic mission. Soleimani was carrying a secret message for Saudi Arabia that Baghdad was to pass on. The message contained an offer to restore diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Tehran, but it was never delivered.
The strike was not approved by Iraqi authorities and infuriated not only Iran, but also Iraqi lawmakers. The latter passed a non-bonding motion demanding the eviction of all foreign troops from the country. Tehran, in turn, vowed to avenge Soleimani's death unless the US withdraws its troops from the entire region. Iran's warnings and the pressure from Iraqi lawmakers did not convince Washington to withdraw its troops from the country, but they did vacate some of the bases there and announced a reduction of their military presence.