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The United States killed the commander of the Quds Revolutionary Guard force, Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, in January 2020. The assassination prompted Iran to launch missiles ballistics on two Iraqi bases housing US troops, and pushed Tehran and Washington to the brink of war.
Iran reiterated its call for justice for the slain counterterrorism commander Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations office in Geneva calling the general’s murder an act of “state terrorism”.
“The term ‘arbitrary assassination’ of senior Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a document by the United Nations special rapporteur is meaningless, and the use of such expressions should not lead to undermining the illegal act of state terrorism,” he said. Ambassador Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said Thursday. , speaking at the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Calling Soleimani’s assassination a “brutal, arbitrary, unfair and illegal act”, the diplomat criticized the Biden administration for its inaction on the matter and said its “failure to hold accountable and bring to justice the perpetrators of the assassination is explicitly clear.
Baghaei Hamaneh went on to describe Soleimani as a “true defender of human rights, as well as an opponent of the occupation and Daesh * terrorists”, and said his assassination constituted an “international crime” which threatened “peace and security in the world”.
The diplomat stressed that Iran and its regional allies “will never stop” in their quest to “bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous crime”.
Baghaei Hamaneh’s comments come on the first anniversary of a report by the United Nations Human Rights Council which concluded that Soleimani’s murder was an “illegal” act and a violation of the Charter of Nations United. The United States rejected these conclusions.
Soleimani’s vehicle convoy was hit by a US drone at Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020, along with Iraqi counterterrorism commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, militia leader of the Allied Popular Mobilization Force in the government of Baghdad, killed with him, as well as five Iranians and five Iraqi soldiers.
Soleimani had traveled to Baghdad for talks with Saudi officials in a bid to ease tensions between Tehran and Riyadh. The United States accused him of being involved in rocket attacks against American bases in Iraq in December 2019. Subsequent media investigations revealed that Daesh or a mysterious force was likely responsible for these attacks and that the militia The Shiite that the United States claimed was involved did not operate in the predominantly Kurdish area.
Iran responded to the assassination by launching more than a dozen ballistic missiles at targets inside Iraq where US troops were stationed, but offered its Iraqi partners a warning period of several minutes to prepare for the impending strikes. The missiles caused extensive damage to the facilities, but no casualties among US forces, although 110 US servicemen sustained traumatic brain injuries.
Iranian authorities have asked Interpol to issue arrest warrants for Donald Trump and dozens of other officials they say are linked to Soleimani’s assassination, but the international police organization has rejected the requests in because of their “political” nature.
Prior to his death, Soleimani was in command of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite extraterritorial combat force, conducting operations against Taliban militants ** in Afghanistan, fighting Daesh and al-Qaeda ** in Syria and Iraq, and providing support advisory to Hezbollah forces against Israeli forces. military during the Lebanon war in 2006.
* aka ISIS, a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
** terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.