Tehran censures Saudi support for Soleimani assassination

January 31, 2020 - 18:34

TEHRAN — Tehran has condemned Riyadh for backing the United States’ assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani, saying such stance makes Saudi Arabia a complicit in the crime.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said it was “regretful and reprehensible” that Riyadh “falsified all transparent international regulations” to call the American crime an act of “legitimate self-defense,” Press TV reported.

Mousavi made the remarks on Monday, a day after Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said he agreed with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo that the region was “safer” following General Soleimani’s martyrdom in an interview with the CNN.

The Saudi official also said he believed the U.S. had acted in “their own legitimate self-defense” by assassinating General Soleimani, who was the most prominent regional commander in the fight against terrorism.

In his remarks, Mousavi reminded Saudi Arabia that the terrorist U.S. military carried out the assassination on another country’s soil, inside a civilian airport, and against an official guest of the host country, which Iraq itself decried as a violation of domestic laws and international legal principles.

He advised the Saudi diplomat to read up on the definition of “legitimate defense” in international legal sources.

Such expression of support makes the Saudi regime complicit in the crime, which was perpetrated on U.S. President Donald Trump’s direct order, said the spokesman.

Trump ordered strikes that martyred Lieutenant General Soleimani, chief of the IRGC Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), on January 3.

In the early hours of January 8, the IRGC attacked the U.S. airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq as part of its promised “tough revenge” for the U.S. terror attack.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat on January 23 that Esmail Ghaani, who is successor of Lieutenant General Soleimani, could also be assassinated.

Chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) responded to the remarks, warning the U.S. and Israel that none of their military commanders will be safe should they take action against Iranian generals.

“The Americans and the Zionists beware that if they threaten our commanders with assassination and if they implement their threat, life of none of their commanders will be safe,” Major General Hossein Salami said on Monday, according to Mehr.

MH/PA

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