Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto called Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif, expressing that Finland "firmly condemns" the missile attacks launched by the ayatollah regime against two US military bases in Iraq and "demanding an explanation as to why crisis management troops taking part in counter-terrorism were targeted."
One of the targeted bases is located in Ain Al Asad, in west Iraq, and the other one in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where Finnish forces are also deployed in peacekeeping mission. The Tehran Government said the attacks are in response to the killing last Friday in Baghdad of the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, which raised the tension in the region.
According to the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Iranian Minister Javad Zarif reiterated to Haavisto Iran’s views and assured that Iran has no intention of escalating the situation any further.
Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 8, 2020
We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
During the call, Minister Haavisto said it was "utterly unreasonable that Finnish and other international crisis management troops participating in the OIR operation against ISIS in Iraq are now facing new threats from Iran’s missile attacks today."
Meeting with Iraqi and Iranian officials
In addition to the telephone conversation, Foreign Minister Haavisto met the Iraqi Ambassador Matheel Al-Sabti and Ahmad Hosseini, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Iran in Helsinki.
Iraq was requested to provide more details on the decision taken by its Parliament last Sunday regarding international presence in Iraq, which will affect the continuation and safety of the OIR operation. OIR is being conducted in the country at the request of the Iraqi Government.
Minister Haavisto intends to contact Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Ali Alhakim by telephone on Wednesday.
Finnish Government says "all parties should avoid violence and actions that could lead to further escalation of the situation."
Finnish President, Sauli Niinistö, also condemned the attacks on Wednesday.