Human RightsIranMiddle EastNorth AmericaQasem Suleimani

Envoy: US Assassination of General Soleimani Clear Instance of State Terrorism

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht-e Ravanchi underlined that the US assassination of former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was a clear manifestation of state terrorism.

“The assassination was a clear manifestation of State terrorism, constituting a gross violation of international law’s fundamental principles and entailing the international responsibility of the United States,” Takht-e Ravanchi said, addressing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on ‘The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question’ on Wednesday.,  

“We categorically reject all US fabrications to justify this heinous crime, including by resorting to sham claims that Soleimani was planning to target American interests in the region,” he added.

“However, the US has been engaged in other destabilizing activities in our region. In pursuit of its intrinsic animosity towards Muslim nations particularly in the Middle East, the US still continues military adventurism in our region, the latest of which is the recent horrific assassination of Martyr Qassem Soleimani and his companions at Baghdad’s International Airport,” the Iranian diplomat said.

“The US is well aware that, in addition to his decisive role in fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Soleimani was also a highly influential and respected politician too, working hard towards stability in the region,” he said.

“With no doubt, this extremely provocative move was a preplanned plot aimed at escalating tensions in our region.

The assassination clearly invalidated the US claim that it is fighting terrorism. It is, in fact, fighting those who combat terrorists. Martyr Soleimani’s demise was a big gift from America to ISIS and other regional terrorist groups,” Takht-e Ravanchi said.

“Rallies and crowds in the region commemorating Martyr Soleimani’s role in fighting terrorism and denouncing his assassination as well as the participation of millions only in our capital in his funeral procession–the second largest in the history of our nation and the entire region–exhibited how beloved he was nationally and regionally. If anything, the US adventurism testified one fact: after this cowardly assassination, the region is less secure and less stable. Consequently, the most effective way to ensure regional peace and security is the withdrawal of US forces from the region, as they have always been the source of instability in our neighborhood,” he added.

The Iranian envoy underlined that the Council needs to address its deepening trust deficit and diminishing legitimacy and credibility emanating including from its inaction in clear cases of violation of international law such as its silence about the assassination of Martyr Soleimani, adding, “In order to correct its past mistakes in the Middle East, the Council must uphold its responsibility by preventing all unlawful US and Israeli policies against the entire region.”

“The Council must remain vigilant about the deceitful nature of the Israeli regime and does not allow it to abuse the Council’s open debates to play victim aimed at distracting attentions from its oppressive policies in our region.”

“This is exactly what the representative of this regime did yesterday when, instead of explaining why it continues to flout international law and its inhumane practices in the occupied territories, attempted to accuse my country through a series of lies and fabrications, which I reject them completely and do not want to dignify them with an answer,” he said.

“It was not also accidental that in a coordinated move, the US representative also did somehow the same and kept completely silent on the topic of the meeting which is the question of Palestine and instead ventured to give a rosy picture of Israel justifying its illegal practices while orchestrating a disinformation campaign against my country which is totally repudiated,” Takht-e Ravanchi said.

Elsewhere, he said that on the early days of the year 2020, the United Nations’ 75th anniversary, it is very timely to ask that why this Council is unable to end decades long occupation of Palestine, to protect the very basic rights of millions of oppressed Palestinians at home and abroad, and to confront an occupying regime that has committed all four core international crimes, not once but several times.

“The answer is clear. The United States, through violation of the peremptory norms and basic principles of international law, disregarding all standards of international conduct, and crossing all principles of humanity and morality, as well as by abusing its status as the Council’s permanent member, continues to completely, systematically and unreservedly shield the Israeli regime,” the envoy said.

“One example is the use of veto for 44 times to protect Israel, further emboldening this regime to commit more crimes with more brutality with total impunity,” he concluded.

Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.

The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.

Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.

On January 8, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.

Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.

The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.

Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.

It was the first direct attack on the US army ever since world war two.

The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.

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