Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has categorically condemned a White House statement that blamed Iran for the recent unrest in Iraq's Basra, saying the arson attack on the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi city was a result of US support for extremists.
Qassemi on Wednesday dismissed the statement as astonishing, provocative and irresponsible, saying that it lacks any credibility.
The spokesman said the US government's tension-provoking policies, interventionist acts and intrusive interference are the key contributors to instability, unrest, tension and divisions in the region.
"The United States' policies in Iraq have no other result than creation of insecurity and instability in the region," he noted.
"The recent chaos in Iraq, including the arson attack on the building of the Iranian Consulate in Basra, is the result of their short-sighted and unwise overt and covert support for groups that have promoted violence and extremism and turned them into an ordinary and everyday occurrence," said Qassemi.
"The US government should be held answerable for its years-long backing for such groups in the region, and the issuance of such statements which are suspicious and amount to a blame game is regarded as a kind of 'fleeing forward' (fuite en avant)."
"Still, even such statements cannot reduce their responsibility in the creation of tension and launching attacks on diplomatic and state buildings in that country and in other parts of the world," said the spokesman.
"Today, many statesmen, politicians and intellectuals across the world are well aware of the United States' growing role in creating instability, insecurity and its making excessive demands coupled with bullying. The US should know that by resorting to such blame games, it will not be able to cover up the outcome of its wrong, fruitless and destabilizing policies in the region," he noted.
He then reiterated Iran's fundamental and permanent policy of contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the regional countries.
"A secure and developed Iraq has always been a demand and priority for the Islamic Republic of Iran, and third parties' conspiracies cannot stop the enhancement and promotion of such age-old and strong relations," Qassemi said.
The United States has threatened Iran with a response over the unrest in the Iraqi city of Basra, saying Tehran will be held accountable for any possible harm to the American citizens stationed there.
The White House issued the warning on Tuesday, days after protests over alleged corruption and government neglect escalated into deadly violence in the oil-rich port city.
At least 12 protesters were killed in Basra and many of its institutions and buildings were damaged.
"Over the past few days, we have seen life-threatening attacks in Iraq, including on the United States consulate in Basra and against the American embassy compound in Baghdad," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander, blaming Iran for that.
"Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons," she claimed.
"The United States will hold the regime in Tehran accountable for any attack that results in injury to our personnel or damage to United States government facilities. America will respond swiftly and decisively in defense of American lives," she said.