UN: US assassination of Gen. Soleimani violates international law

The United States did not provide sufficient "evidence" of threat of an impending attack. Agnes Callamard reports the operation violates the United Nations Charter, but the international community has remained largely silent. Soleimani did not pose a threat to the US and the rest of the world.


Geneva (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The attack launched by United States drones in early January near Baghdad airport, during which Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people were killed, constitutes a violation of law international.

This is what a senior United Nations official concludes, adding Washington has been unable to provide sufficient and convincing "evidence" of an imminent attack taking place against US objectives in the region.

The rumors of a possible attack were the pretext used by the White House to justify the assassination of the Qods Force commander, killed in a raid on January 3 in the Iraqi capital. Thousands of people attended a public ceremony first in Iraq, then in Iran where the burial took place. At the time, the Chaldean patriarch, Card Louis Raphael Sako, had also intervened, who asked not to transform the country into a "battlefield".

In her report on drone attacks and greater regulation of the weapon Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, she underlines that the military operation openly violates the United Nations Charter.

"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,” Callamard said.

On 9 July, the expert will have to present the results of the investigation to the UN Human Rights Council, but the United States is not part of this forum having abandoned it two years ago by decision of President Donald Trump. According to Washington, General Soleimani was the mastermind of attacks by pro-Iranian militias and armed groups in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, as well as being a major source of destabilization in the region.

In her report Callamard  writes that the senior officer "was responsible for the Iranian military strategy" in Iraq and Syria but, in the absence of a real threat to life, the course of action taken by the United States was illegal". The episode was the first ever in which a nation invoked the right to self-defense, as a justification for an operation against a state actor on the territory of a third country.

Tehran recently issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump and 35 other people in connection with the killing of Soleimani. According to reports from Tehran's Attorney General Ali Alqasimeh, the Iranian government has also asked for help from Interpol.

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