UN investigator deems Soleimani assassination a ‘violation of UN Charter’

July 7, 2020 - 11:44

TEHRAN — A UN human rights investigator said on Monday that the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani represented a “violation of the UN Charter”.

The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Callamard wrote in a report that the attack violated the UN Charter, calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.

“The world is at a critical time, and possible tipping point, when it comes to the use of drones. ... The Security Council is missing in action; the international community, willingly or not, stands largely silent,” she told Reuters.

Callamard is due on Thursday to present her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.

On January 3, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered strikes that killed General Soleimani, chief of the IRGC Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as well as eight other people.

“Major General Soleimani was in charge of Iran military strategy, and actions, in Syria and Iraq. But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the U.S. was unlawful,” Callamard wrote in the report.

The January 3 drone strike was the first known incident in which a nation invoked self-defense as a justification for an attack against a state actor in the territory of a third country, Callamard added.

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. attack.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Trump was misled to believe his country would get away with the assassination of General Soleimani.

Trump believed that the assassination would augment U.S. security but it worked the other way around, Zarif said in an interview with NBC News’ Richard Engel in Munich back in February.

Meanwhile, Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over Soleimani’s killing and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29.

MH/PA

Leave a Comment

6 + 7 =