IranMiddle EastNorth AmericaQasem Suleimani

President Rouhani: Iran Expects Regional Gov’ts to Stand United in Condemnation of US Criminal Act

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone conversation with his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani underlined that Tehran expects neighbors to adopt a unified stance to condemn the US assassination of IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“We expect the friendly governments and our neighbors to stand united in condemnation of this criminal and vicious act,” President Rouhani said in the phone conversation on Sunday.

He underlined the US untrustworthiness, and said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has never started any aggression and tension even against the US and Iran’s measures have always been a response to the US aggression.”

President Rouhani said that Iran attaches great importance to peace and stability in Afghanistan believing that it is beneficial to both nations.

Ghani, for his part, extended his condolences to the Iranian government and nation over the martyrdom of General Soleimani, and said, “Iran’s security is our security and the Afghan government and nation will endeavor to establish peace, stability and brotherhood.”

Lieutenant General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by the US drones at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning.

General Qassem Soleimani has been martyred by the US aircraft after lifetime efforts, the IRGC said in a statement early Friday morning.

The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The PMF media arm said 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.

The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.

The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday President Donald Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.

US officials earlier suggested they were to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

US President Donald Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.

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