Iraqi lawmakers warn Israel against attacking Iran
One MP says any penetration of Iraqi airspace by Israeli jets will be 'addressed by Iraqi forces.'
Iraqi parliament members on Wednesday warned Israel that using using its country's airspace to attack Iran would be considered an attack against Iraq.
"Any penetration of Iraqi airspace by an Israeli national would be considered an attack against Iraq," Hassan al-Sanid, a member of Iraq's parliamentary committee on security and defense, said in remarks carried in the Baghdad daily al-Sabbah.
Speculation about an Israeli air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities had died down in recent months, but the possibility has returned to public discussion following the unrest surrounding Iran's June presidential elections.
"With no other timely option, the already compelling logic for an Israeli strike is nearly inexorable," former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton argued in the Washington Post on July 2.
Saudi Arabia earlier this week vigorously denied rumors that it had struck a deal with the Israelis to allow use of the kingdom's airspace for such a strike.
"Iraq would use all political, legal, diplomatic and security measures" to protest Israeli use of Iraqi airspace in any hypothetical attack against Iran, al-Sanid said. "International law ensures the integrity of states and their control over their territory and airspace. We would view any violation of this law in that context."
"The Zionist Entity [Israel] cannot take advantage of the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq" to fly over Iraq in a hypothetical strike against Iran, said Mohammed Naji, a member of parliament with the ruling United Iraqi Alliance. "The [U.S.-Iraqi] security agreement guarantees the sovereignty of Iraqi airspace."
Ahead of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraqi cities and towns on June 30, U.S. military commanders said they would continue to provide security for Iraq's borders and airspace after the partial U.S. withdrawal.
"Any penetration of Iraqi airspace by Israeli fighter jets or other planes will be addressed by Iraqi forces," Naji said. "Iraq has full sovereignty over its lands, waters and skies. Iraqis will not allow the Entity to benefit in any way from its land, territorial waters or airspace to attack a neighbor."
"The constitution holds that Iraq shall not be a platform for military operations against neighboring countries," he added. "Iraq adheres to international principles and has opened a new page of close relations in its dealings with its neighbors, especially Iran."
Any use of Iraqi airspace to attack its neighbor would herald "a state of war between the two countries, which would negatively affect the general situation," Naji concluded.