Washington should abandon ‘unlawful tactics’, Lavrov says in reaction to Soleimani assassination

January 4, 2020 - 19:51

TEHRAN — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on Washington to abandon “unlawful tactics”, pointing to the assassination of IRGC Quds Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Lavrov made the remarks during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Friday.

“They [Lavrov and Pompeo] have discussed the situation related to the murder of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. military in an airstrike on the Baghdad airport,” the Russian ministry stated. 

“Lavrov stressed that the purposeful actions of a UN member state on eliminating officials of another UN member state, especially on the territory of a third sovereign state without giving it prior notice, blatantly violate the principles of international law and should be condemned.”

“The Russian minister has pointed out that this step by the U.S. is fraught with serious consequences for peace and security in the region and that it does not aid the efforts on finding solutions to difficult issues accumulated in the Middle East. On the contrary, it leads to a new wave of escalation. Moscow urges Washington to abandon unlawful forceful tactics of achieving its goals on the international arena and to resolve any issues at the negotiating table,” the ministry added.

The Pentagon earlier confirmed that a missile strike near the Baghdad airport killed the head of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani. The operation was carried out at the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump, the statement said.

Washington blamed Soleimani for allegedly approving a rally outside the U.S. embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

On Friday, U.S. drones struck a convoy carrying Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), on the Baghdad International Airport road.

Following Soleimani’s assassination, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said those who assassinated the IRGC Quds Force commander must await harsh revenge.

Ayatollah Khamenei added that the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world.”

MH/PA

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