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Iran Condemns Assassination Of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Expert In Baghdad

Security forces stand guard at the assassination scene of Hisham al-Hashimi, in Zeyouneh area, Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, July, 7, 2020.

In a statement on Monday evening, the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad condemned the assassination of Iraqi historian and researcher of jihadi groups, Hisham al-Hashimi in Baghdad.

"We condemn the criminal action of the assassination of Hisham al-Hashimi, expert of Iraqi security issues, and other elite of the country," the statement of the embassy said.

Hashimi had recently received threats from Iran-backed armed militias in Iraq and had criticized their conduct. He also backed Iraqi protesters who since last October have been demanding an end to mismanagement by consecutive governments backed by Iran and its influence in Iraq.

“Undoubtedly, the aim of the supporters and perpetrators of such operations is to undermine stability and security in Iraq, incite sedition and rift among the nation's sons, and restore violence in the country,” the statement said and underlined that Iran supported stability and security in Iraq.

Hisham al-Hashemi, 47, was an internationally recognized expert on ISIS and other jihadi groups in Iraq. He was shot dead in front of his house in Zeyouneh district of Baghdad on Monday by three gunmen on motorcycles after reportedly having received threats.

Al-Hashemi served as an advisor to the former Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi.

The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, have also condemned the assassination of Al-Hashimi.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi blamed Hashimi’s killing on "illegal" armed groups and vowed to “hunt” the perpetrators of the crime and prosecute them.

In a twitter post, President Barham Salih said Al-Hashimi's assassination was a despicable crime committed by "outlaws" that targeted the Iraqi people and their right to a free and dignified life. He demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice to ensure security and peace for the country.

Jeanine Hennis, the head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq which advises and supports the Iraqi government on elections and human rights also has condemned the assassination.

In a Twitter post on Monday she said she was shocked by the assassination. "We strongly condemn this despicable act of cowardice. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. I call on the government to quickly identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice," she tweeted.