Soleimani assassination will end U.S. presence in the region: Zarif

February 7, 2020 - 19:35

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani on January 3 will put an end to the United States’ military presence in the region.

“No person in their right mind would do such a thing. By doing this, Trump puts an end to presence of the United States in the region,” Press TV quoted him as saying in an interview with Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network.

He added, “A government, which is not courageous enough to fight a commander [on the battlefield] has to martyr him through a cowardly terrorist operation…. Americans and the Zionist regime always act like this.” 

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has described the assassination of Soleimani as a “cowardly” act that brought “disgrace” upon the U.S.

Zarif said on January 5 that end of the U.S. “malign presence” in West Asia has begun.

“Whether kicking or screaming, end of U.S. malign presence in West Asia has begun,” Zarif said in a tweet.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, also said in January that the U.S. must leave the region, noting that the U.S. is unwelcome in the region.

Ayatollah Khamenei said on January 8 that the U.S. “corruptive presence” in the region must come to an end.

“This region does not accept presence of the United States. The people in the region and the regional governments rising from the people do not accept this issue,” the Leader said during a speech in Qom.

On January 5, two days after the U.S. assassination of General Soleimani, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution requiring the government to order the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

In retaliation to the assassination, the Iranian military fired dozens of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles at a U.S. airbase in western Iraq on January 8.  

Since the Second World War Two, it was the first time that a country launched a military attack on the U.S. army.

‘Iran to take legal action against Trump’s economic, military and cultural terrorism’

Zarif also said the Islamic Republic will take legal action against U.S. President Donald Trump on charges of committing economic and military terrorism against Iran and his threats to perpetrate cultural terrorism against the country.

“Well, Mr. Trump is currently accused of economic terrorism against the Iranian people, and of sponsoring cultural terrorism. He has threatened to hit our cultural sites and is also accused of state terrorism,” he noted.

The U.S. assassination of General Soleimani has been described as an instance of state terrorism.He added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will launch legal proceedings against Trump on these three charges. At the present time, Mr. Trump is recognized to have committed these three big sins and these three crimes before the [world’s] public opinion. God willing, we will follow up on this issue with other [international legal] authorities.”

NA/PA

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