By staff and agency

Zarif says assassination of Gen. Soleimani amounts to an armed attack on Iran

January 7, 2020 - 19:35

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani by the United States amounts to an armed attack against Iran.

“This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally,” he told CNN in an interview published on Tuesday.

“We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump,” he said.

Referring to a tweet by the U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday in which he threatened to target 52 Iranian sites, including cultural and civilian ones, Zarif said those comments showed Trump “has no respect for international law and is prepared to commit war crimes -- attacking cultural sites is a war crime.”

He also said that Trump threw the Middle East into chaos by leaving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in May 2018.

“A war was started a long time ago by the United States, the United States destroyed stability in this region, the United States undermined security in this region,” he said.

“What is important is for the Trump regime to realize is that everything in this region was improving following the JCPOA,” Zarif said.

He said that the U.S. has “destroyed stability” in the Middle East, warning of worse to come if the U.S. did not reverse course.

“We saw normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon ... we had the reduction of tensions in Syria ... what happened? The United States started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing the Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine.”

NA/PA

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