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Iran Officials Downplay Killing Of IS Leader Al-Baghdadi


This handout picture taken and released by the White House on October 27, 2019

The spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry on Monday said in an interview that killing Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "was not a big deal" and the extremist group had already been defeated by Iran and other regional powers.

Abbas Mousavi told Iran's state broadcaster, "We don't regard such noisy American actions as extraordinary", adding that these usually precede U.S. elections.

On Sunday Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei had said al-Baghdai's death will not mean the end of the group and its ideology.

"The killing of Baghdadi will not end Daesh (the Islamic State) and its ideology ... which was created and flourished with the help of regional petrodollars," Rabiei tweeted, in a clear reference to Tehran's regional rival Saudi Arabia.

Throughout the years when the Islamic State group emerged and wreaked havoc in the region, Iran’s rulers insisted that it was created by its enemies; Saudi Arabia, the United States and even Israel. For its domestic audience and regional followers, Tehran consistently insisted that it is the only power truly fighting the Sunni extremist group.

Now, that the United States has killed the IS leader, Iranian officials try to maintain their theory about the group’s emergence and expansion.

Iran's information minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted on Sunday that the death of al-Baghdadi was "not a big deal", accusing the United States of creating Islamic State.

"Not a big deal. You just killed your creature," Azari-Jahromi tweeted.

Reporting by Reuters

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