Iran Not to Let General Soleimani’s Assassins Go Unpunished
IRAN NEWS POLITICAL DESK
TEHRAN – Iran says it will not let those behind the assassination of the country’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani evade punishment.
“We will not allow the martyr’s blood to go to waste and those who did it escape punishment,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a virtual news conference in Tehran Monday.
The Islamic Republic has ceaselessly pursued this matter and will keep doing so through the international channels, he said.
“This is not something that the Iranian government and the establishment could let go by. The U.S. administration is accountable in this regard,” the diplomat added.
Khatibzadeh said the United States committed a monumental strategic mistake by perpetrating the terrorist act.
“We will not abandon this pursuit until we have taken all those who abetted this [atrocity] or were involved in it, to the altar of justice.”
General Soleimani was the former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). He was admired as the Middle East’s most potent counter-terrorism combatant, with a unique charisma.
He was Iran’s lead military advisor helping in Iraq and Syria defeat foreign-backed takfiri terrorists, chiefly Daesh in late 2017.
He was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad on January 3 during an official visit. His Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, was also killed along with their other companions when their convoy was hit.
Khatibzadeh touched on Tehran’s efforts to present the enormity of the atrocity to the world and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Islamic Republic, he said, has registered more than five letters and official notes with the United Nations and used its diplomatic missions to introduce General Soleimani and the nature of his mission to the world.
The official said Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, denounced the assassination as an act of terrorism earlier this year, only after Iran’s Foreign Ministry presented the world body with a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the terrorist act.
Tehran will follow up on its efforts in this area across international courts and tribunals, he added.
Apart from commanding the Quds Force, General Soleimani served as a “pillar of regional stability” who contributed most to the realization of peace and maintaining interaction with different leaders of the region, Khatibzadeh said.
The spokesman touched on General Soleimani’s famous “We are a nation of martyrdom” remarks, saying extremism cannot be defeated unless through the courage and pure blood of those confronting
Khatibzadeh further warned the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump against any new adventurism, saying the U.S. would bear responsibility for any act of mischief.
“We are not looking for tension, but we would defend Iran’s national interests with all our might,” he said, adding the Islamic Republic has given the message that it would hold “the U.S. and other plotters” responsible for any mischievous act against it.
Khatibzadeh said he hoped level heads would prevail at the White House over warmongering elements during the final days of the Trump administration.
The spokesperson also said that Iran has never been willing to resolve its issues in another region and it is the United States who has made regional countries as bases of insecurity against Iran.
Khatibzadeh answered questions raised by reporters over recent development in the field of foreign policy.
The senior Iranian diplomat spoke about the recent meeting JCPOA member countries at the ministerial level, stating that in the meeting the Islamic Republic emphasized the commitments of the other side, and the latest situation was discussed in this informal meeting.
In response to a question about Muqtada al-Sadr’s claims that Iran should not turn Iraq into a place of conflict with the United States and the purpose of the recent rocket attacks on the Green Zone in Iraq, he said, “I said last week that in our view, attacks on diplomatic and residential premises are completely rejected. Iranian diplomatic facilities in Iraq have been attacked several times.”
What Trump and Pompeo claimed are both condemned and rejected, he said, adding that the type, timing, and content of such claims and tweets are questionable and suspicious.
“We have made our message clear, while we do not seek tension, we defend the interests and national security of Iran with all our might”, he stressed.
According to Khatibzadeh Iran has never been willing to resolve its issues in another region and it is the United States who has made the countries of region bases of insecurity against Iran.