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By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
4-5 minutes
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis supported the killing of Qasem Soleimani

The Islamic Republic of Iran launched a new round of saber-rattling by declaring last week that it will retaliate against Greece if Athens allows the US to use military bases against Tehran.

The Greek paper Kathimerini reported on Monday that Iran’s regime said the use of US military bases in Greece would be considered a “hostile act” and the clerical regime would respond “in a clear and decisive manner.”

The paper wrote that “The warning came in a letter sent by the Iranian embassy in Athens to Kathimerini, which was published on January 10 in the column Readers’ Letters. It was commenting on an article published in the newspaper on January 6, which stated that ‘Greece will have some involvement’ in case of a US operation against Iran, ‘though not with a warship… due to the extremely fragile balance’ in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Iran’s embassy said that “The Islamic Republic of Iran has made it very clear that in the event of a US-led war against the country, the concession of [military] bases by any country to the American invader will be considered a hostile act and Iran reserves the right to respond in a clear and decisive manner.

The embassy continued that “Given the friendly, traditional and historical relations between the two countries, Iran and Greece, and the absence of any differences or tension between them in recent centuries, we believe that this statement cannot be the official position of the Greek government and our friendly and historical relations will continue in the future.”

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Saturday that Iran filed a démarche to the Greek government over the statements made by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis regarding the targeted killing of assassination Iranian general Qasem Soleimani during his visit to Washington last week, according to the paper.

“We are allies with the US, so we stand by our allies through difficult times," Mitsotakis said in Washington.

"I understand this particular decision was taken by taking into consideration what is the US national interest, and we stand by that decision. At the same time, one needs to be fully aware of the fact that there is broader concern in the region about a possible escalation and I think efforts should be made… to move towards moves that will deescalate the overall tension and hope that this is a message that will be received by everyone.”

Dendias told Open TV that “Indeed, there has been a [Iranian] protest on the part of Iran,” but said he had not seen the text of the diplomatic complaint. Dendias later said, according to an article published by The Greek Reporter news agency, that he could not reveal the contents of the démarche.

The US and the EU designated Soleimani an international terrorist.

The Greek Reporter noted Dendiass told said he“understands what the broader Greek position is, and we understand why Iran wants in this context to raise the issue.” The Greek foreign minister added that Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif asked to speak with to him.

The left-wing opposition party SYRIZA attacked Mitsotakis because he, the party claims, “clearly stated that he supports US actions in relation to the execution of the Iranian general in Iraq, becoming the only European leader to make such a move.” SYRIZA said “he puts the country at risk for no reason.” The US government classifies Iran's regime as the worst state-sponsor of terrorism.



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