By staff and agency

Sherman calls assassination of Gen. Soleimani an extraordinary risk

February 18, 2020 - 19:49

Wendy Sherman, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs who led the U.S. negotiating team that concluded the Iran nuclear agreement, has said that assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was an extraordinary risk.

“I think the president took an extraordinary risk and I don’t think we’ve seen the end of that risk yet,” WUSF News quoted her as saying in a news conference before the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.

She added, “After he [Soleimani] was murdered by the United States government, they [the Iranian people] were in the streets protesting America. That’s not in our national security interest.”

She said that the assassination of Soleimani and the subsequent retaliation by Iran against U.S troops in Iraq brought the two countries close to war.

In an interview with CNN aired on Saturday, veteran U.S. diplomat Joseph Nye said Trump revoked an executive order signed by President Gerald Ford by directing the Pentagon to assassinate Soleimani.

“By assassinating of a high official in a third country when you are not at war, you are revoking what Gerald Ford had done after Vietnam which says we are not to get into the business of assassination. I don’t think we really want to drop that norm,” Nye said.

“What happens for example if Secretary [Mike] Pompeo goes to Baghdad and somebody shoots him? We’d have no right to complain if we’ve shot Soleimani.”

He noted, “We gave up assassination after the Vietnam war after Gerald Ford signed an executive order. I am not sure that Trump thought through what it means if you drop that moral principle.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the assassination of Soleimani by the U.S. was a flagrant violation of international law.

“If we are talking about the latest swirl of U.S.-Iranian escalation with which the current year started, then our position is known. We condemn any actions that contradict the principles of the UN Charter and lead to increased tensions in the region. The Pentagon attack on the airport in Baghdad organized on January 3, which killed the commander of the special forces of [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] IRGC of Iran [Qassem] Soleimani, became a flagrant violation of international law,” UrduPoint quoted Lavrov as saying on Monday in an interview with the Italian La Stampa daily.

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that it was a civilian airport, emphasizing that “these actions on the part of Americans are beyond the limits.”

General Soleimani was assassinated in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on January 3.

Iran retaliated to the attack on January 8 by firing dozens of ballistic missiles at a major U.S. airbase in western Iraq, dealing a great blow to the U.S. that it is invincible.


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