Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi said the US assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was an “obvious example of state terrorism” perpetrated in breach of international law.
The Iranian official made the remarks in an address to a virtual session on “Strategic and Practical Challenges of Countering Terrorism in a Global Pandemic Environment” held at the UN on Friday, according to IRNA.
“The United States’ brutal and cowardly assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the champion of fighting terrorists in the region, and his companions, while on an official visit to neighboring Iraq, is another obvious example of state terrorism pursued in gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, entailing criminal responsibility of its perpetrators,” Takht-Ravanchi said.
“This tragedy was a big gift to Daesh and other terrorist groups in the region who celebrated his assassination,” he noted, Press TV wrote.
In his address to the virtual session, Takht-Ravanchi called for collective and coordinated responses to terrorism, stressing, “Unilateral coercive measures deny essential tools for a collective response to terrorism and hinder cooperation as well as genuine efforts in this endeavor, hence providing a breeding ground for terrorism.”
In a drone attack on January 3, the US assassinated General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and a group of their companions near Baghdad International Airport.
Both commanders enjoyed deep reverence among Muslim nations over their endeavors in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
The operation was conducted with the authorization of US President Donald Trump.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining the US president and several other US military and political leaders who were behind the assassination.
UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard on Saturday defended her recent report on the US assassination of Lieutenant General Soleimani, noting that “International law is international. It is not American”.
“International law is international. It is not American.” Int’l Law is the basis for my warnings on the exponential, unregulated use of armed drones, my assessment of the General Soleimani drone strike, my calls for actions to prevent further crises”, Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, twitted on Saturday.
Her tweet came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo angrily rejected the UN special rapporteur's report.
In her recent report released on Tuesday, she 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.
"In light of the evidence that the US has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing for which, under IHRL (international human rights law), the US is responsible," Callamard said in her report.
She said the strike violated the UN Charter, with "insufficient evidence provided of an ongoing or imminent attack," she wrote.
"No evidence has been provided that General Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against US interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified," Callamard said.