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Brian Hook: Iran Organized Baghdad Embassy Attack In 'Desperation'

Supporters and members of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force gather during a demonstration outside the US embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on January 1, 2020.

The U.S. Special Representative for Iran on December 2 told the BBC Radio 4's Today Program that in "an act of desperation" Iran organized the demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad this week.

"The Iranian regime organized these protesters, I think, in an act of desperation to try to drive a wedge between the United States and the Iraqi people," Brian Hook said and added: "In fact, that demonstration in front of the embassy is exactly what the Iraqi people are tired of," Brian Hook told the Today Program.

The U.S. diplomat also contended that it would be "inviting more attacks, putting more people's lives at risk, especially American troops, but also European troops that are there and Iraqi troops" if the U.S. had not responded to the Iran-backed paramilitary groups when they on Tuesday.

The pro-Iran militia who were angry at U.S. airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah, a paramilitary group backed by Iran, in which at least 25 people were killed threw stones at the embassy building and chanted anti-American slogans.

Brian Hook who is also a senior policy advisor to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended President Donald Trump's decision to strike the pro-Iranian militia once again and said: “We were struck first, an American was killed, American soldiers were injured, and so the president, as commander in chief, has responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our troops and our diplomats, and he took the right measures.”

Hook, however, said the United States is not looking for more military conflict in the Middle East.

Speaking to CNN on Wednesday Hook had called the demonstrators who stormed the embassy and threw stones as "terrorists". “Forty years ago, they stormed our embassy. And then here we are 40 years later and they’re directing these terrorist groups to then attack our embassy”.

On Wednesday Morgan Ortagus, the U.S. State Department Spokesperson, also told Fox News that those who attacked were "terrorists that are organized, trained and equipped by the Iranian regime," not legitimate protesters.

Following the Tuesday attack on the embassy, U.S. official said that 750 extra troops would be sent to the region and the number could rise to as many as 4000 in coming days.