Iran envoy brands US assassination of Gen. Soleimani ‘State Terrorism’

Tasnim – Iran’s ambassador to the UN office in Geneva denounced the American assassination of top Iranian commander Lt. General Qassem Soleimani as an act of state terrorism that has threatened world peace and security.

Addressing the 44th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, said the US assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq was an illegal measure and a big crime that threatens world peace and security.

He also noted that the US and the country that hosted the American drones used in the operation to assassinate the Iranian commander must be held accountable for the crime.

The US action was a violation of the international law, the UN Charter, and the humanitarian law, Baghaei Hamaneh added, saying the assassination was an immoral and dangerous action.

The assassination of General Soleimani was an act of “state terrorism”, the Iranian envoy stated, saying Washington must not be allowed to justify such illegal measure with any reason and pretext.

He then called on the UN Human Rights Council to raise the alarm at the threat to the fundamentals of human rights, rule of law and international principles.

The assassination of a popular commander that hurt the Iranian people’s feelings is another proof of the US’ hostile stance towards the Iranian nation over the past 40 years, he noted.

In a recent report, Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, underlined the “unlawful” nature of the operation, and said the US had failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike.

Also on Thursday, the rapporteur said the US has put the world at unprecedented peril with its assassination of the commander, warning that it was high time the international community broke its silence on Washington’s drone-powered unlawful killings.

On January 3, a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport assassinated General Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. The attack — that also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) anti-terror group, along with several others — came while General Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.