Foreign minister condemns Iranian missile strikes against US forces

  • Lusa
  • 8 January 2020

The Foreign Minister has called for the conflicts in the Middle East to be resolved by political means, condemning Iran's attacks on US air bases in Iraq.

The Portuguese foreign minister on Wednesday condemned Iran’s attacks on a base with US forces in Iraq, calling for the containment of all those involved to avoid “a spiral of violence” in the Middle East.

“The military actions taken by Iran against bases of the international coalition [that fights the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq], to which Portugal belongs, deserve our condemnation, but we also call on all those involved to use maximum restraint to avoid a spiral of violence and an escalation that will take us further away from a peaceful, sustained and lasting solution for stability in the Middle East,” Augusto Santos Silva said.

Santos Silva was speaking today in Lisbon on the sidelines of a seminar on cooperation, culture and language promoted by the Camões Institute.

Asked by journalists whether, given the most recent events, Portugal would strengthen the security at the Portuguese embassy in Tehran, Iran, Santos Silva said “we have the security protocols required by the presence of Portuguese citizens in countries or regions where there are emergency or critical situations, which we activate whenever necessary, and we have security protocols for embassies, consulates or diplomatic staff, which by their nature are not public, nor can they be made public,” he said.

More than a dozen Iranian missiles were launched at dawn today against two Iraqi bases – in Ain al-Assad and Erbil – that are home to US troops.

This action was taken by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a “revenge operation” for the death of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Al-Quds force, who died on Friday in a drone strike in Baghdad, ordered by US President Donald Trump.

The US Department of Defense confirmed that “more than a dozen Iranian missiles” were fired at both bases but did not indicate whether there were any casualties.

In his Twitter account, in a first reaction, Trump said that “everything is fine”, underlining that the assessment of victims and damage was in progress, and promised to comment on the situation later.

Iranian state television said that the missiles killed 80 Americans, citing an “informed source” with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.