USA should be accountable for Gen. Soleimani' assassination

Pompeo hits ‘spurious’ UN report that claims Soleimani's killing was unlawful

A USA airstrike on January 3 of this year killed Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with an Iraqi militia commander and others, near Baghdad International Airport.

Democratic lawmakers, as well as some Republican members, at the time questioned the legal justification for the strike and maintained that the threat Soleimani posed was not "imminent", while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sharply rejected such speculation.

The report was presented on Thursday by Agnes Callamard to the United Nations -backed Human Rights Council, which counts among its members states with human rights records, such as Libya, Venezuela, and Sudan. "But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful", Callamard wrote in the report.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in the city of Isfahan on Thursday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said legal actions are underway to pursue the case of assassination of General Soleimani, who was martyred in a usa airstrike in Iraq in early January.

The retaliatory missile attacks Iran launched against United States bases in Iraq five days later were also "completely outside the scope of what is permissible" in global law, Callamard said. "The Security Council is missing in action; the worldwide community, willingly or not, stands largely silent", Callamard said.

"This tendentious and tedious report undermines human rights by giving a pass to terrorists and it proves once again why America was right to leave" the UN Human Rights Council in 2018, she added.

Trump ordered the drone strike, which also killed Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, after escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, against which Trump has imposed sweeping unilateral sanctions.

The Aramco attack highlighted for McKenzie what he says is the most worrisome threat USA forces and allies face in the region today: "It is the small drone - it's the Costco-purchased drone" because "if you can see it with a larger radar cross-section we can engage it with traditional measures".

As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was a key figure in supplying weapons and explosive devices to Iraqi insurgents that killed or wounded USA soldiers in Iraq following the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

The criteria of imminent threat are crucial in determining whether the USA acted in self-defence, she noted.

Callamard, expanding on her report on Twitter on Wednesday, noted the rapid proliferation of drones around the world.

Callamard wrote that the strike targeting Soleimani was "qualitatively different" from other drone strikes that targeted non-state actors.

There is an urgent need for global action to monitor and regulate the use of drones and the threat they pose to worldwide law, Callamard said.

Tehran has countered by issuing an global arrest warrant and asking Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the drone strike on Soleimani.

Mr Trump mentioned he ordered the strike "to stop a war" between the United States and Iran.

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.



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