Unprecedented steps

Iraq’s multifaceted response to Iran’s missile strike in Erbil

BAGHDAD, January 16, 2024 – The Iraqi government has implemented a series of measures that include diplomatic actions, establishing a high-level fact-finding committee, and announcing plans to file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council. These actions, coupled with unequivocal condemnations could significantly straine relations between Iraq and Iran. The following are the key points so far:

Diplomatic Actions:

  • Iraq’s ambassador to Tehran, Nasir Abdul Mohsen, was summoned for consultations. The Foreign Ministry stated, “The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned today… the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Tehran… for the purpose of consultations in light of the recent Iranian attacks on Erbil.”
  • The Iranian chargé d’affaires in Baghdad, Abu Al-Fadl Azizi, was handed a protest memorandum. The Foreign Ministry emphasized, “This attack is a blatant violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, strongly contradicts the principles of good neighborliness and international law.”

Formation of a Fact-Finding Committee:

  • Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani ordered the establishment of an investigative committee chaired by Qasim Al-Araji. The Foreign Ministry stated, “The Prime Minister has decided to form a committee… to investigate the attack, gather information to support the government’s international stance.”
  • Al-Araji confirmed the committee’s progress, stating, “We continue meetings with security agencies in the region, and we will submit a report to the respected Commander-in-Chief.”

Complaint to the United Nations Security Council:

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced its intention to take legal measures against the attack, including “filing a complaint with the United Nations Security Council.”
  • This was taken a step further by Al-Yaqoubi who indicated that “Iraq might resort to international organizations or reassess its relationship with Iran across various sectors, depending on the investigation’s outcome”.


  • The Iraqi Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack, stating, “The government of the Republic of Iraq expresses its strong disapproval and condemnation of the Iranian aggression on the city of Erbil through the shelling of safe residential areas with ballistic missiles, resulting in casualties among civilians.”
  • National Security Advisor Qassim Al-Araji, after visiting the targeted site, said, “It became evident that the claims about targeting a Mossad headquarters are baseless.”
  • Khaled Al-Yaqoubi, the security advisor of the Iraqi Prime Minister, described the strike as “a clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and a significant breach of the friendly relations between Iraq and Iran.”