Europe’s security is owed to General Soleimani’s war on Daesh, Foreign Ministry spokesman says

Tehran says responded appropriately to Pompeo’s ‘undiplomatic’ letter

January 5, 2020 - 23:8

TEHRAN — Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday that Tehran responded appropriately to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “undiplomatic” and “offensive” letter.

“The letter, from the U.S. secretary of state, was contrary to diplomatic norms and was offensive,” Mousavi said at a press conference in Tehran.

“We mulled the letter and responded in a way that U.S. officials deserve but also at a lower diplomatic level,” he said.

The IRGC announced in a statement on Friday morning that Lieutenant General Soleimani and PMU deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were martyred in an attack carried out by the U.S.

A Swiss diplomat delivered a message from the United States to Iran on Friday over the U.S. killing of Soleimani, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said.

“The chargé d'affaires was informed of Iran’s position and in turn delivered the message of the United States,” the ministry said in an emailed response to a Reuters query, without elaborating,.

Switzerland represents the interests of the United States in Iran, allowing the two countries to maintain a diplomatic channel of communication.

“The elimination of the Daesh terrorist group by Resistance forces with General Soleimani in command has made Europe safe for them.” 

During his press conference, Mousavi said General Soleimani was a hero around the world for his fight against terrorism, violence and extremism.

“The foreign media try to depict him in another way, but this will not work,” he added. 

General Soleimani was a legendary commander in the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Syria.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released a message on Friday saying Iran will take a “tough revenge” on the criminals who killed the top Iranian general.

“After years of sincere and courageous jihad against the devils and evil-doers of the world and after years of wishing for martyrdom in the path of God, alas, dear Soleimani attained this lofty station and his pure blood was spilled by the vilest of humans,” the Leader’s message read.

President Hassan Rouhani said Soleimani’s assassination will “double the determination of the great Iranian nation and other independent states to stand against America’s excessive demands and to defend the Islamic values.”

The Pentagon has said in a statement that President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. military to assassinate Soleimani.

Mousavi also responded to Trump’s threatening tweets, saying, “I’m sorry that we live in a world where the U.S. president threatens to attack Iranian cultural targets and his advisors do not prevent such remarks and let Trump speak words that are in violation of international law.”

“We will respond to threats with threats and we advise them to avoid making empty threats,” he asserted.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump said, “We have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

Zarif also responded to Trump’s tweets, saying, “Targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME.”

Mousavi urged other countries of the world to stand up to the U.S. bullying, unilateralism and violation of other states’ sovereignty.

There is no ambiguity that the countries of the world are facing a regime which breaches international norms, he said.

“I’m sorry that we live in a world where the U.S. president threatens to attack Iranian cultural targets and his advisors do not prevent such remarks and let Trump speak words that are in violation of international law.”The spokesman further expressed the hope that someday the world will come to its senses and will begin to condemn the Americans.

It is expected that countries with good record of humanitarian activities take their positions to some extent independently so they can stand up to the U.S. bullying and unilateralism and violation of other states’ sovereignty, he added.

Asked about European countries’ response to the assassination of General Soleimani, Mousavi criticized their “unconstructive” stance, saying Europeans, for their security today, are indebted to the ceaseless efforts of the late commander.

“The elimination of the Daesh terrorist group by Resistance forces with General Soleimani in command has made Europe safe for them,” Mousavi said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mousavi said Iran will decide on Sunday night about its next step to further roll back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement between Tehran and six major powers in 2018 and imposed harsh sanctions on Iran.

“Tonight, there will be a very important meeting to decide about our next nuclear step and the implementation of the deal,” the spokesman said.

“Considering the recent threats, it should be underlined that in politics, all developments and threats are linked to each other,” he added.

In reaction to the U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” since Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments under the deal, under which Tehran undertook to curb its nuclear activity in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

MH/PA

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