EghtesadOnline: Iran's ambassador to the United Nations strongly condemned the United States' assassination of a top Iranian commander, stressing that Iran reserves its right under international law to self-defense.
"Iran reserves all of its rights under international law to take necessary measures in this regard, in particular in exercising its inherent right to self-defense," Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in a letter to the world body on Saturday, IRNA reported.
The United States killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a strike on their convoy in Baghdad airport on Friday, according to Financial Tribune.
The Pentagon said the attack was carried out on the order of US President Donald Trump with the aim of protecting American personnel abroad and deterring future Iranian attack plans.
Takht-Ravanchi rejected all claims made by US officials for justifying the assassination and urged the UN Security Council to "uphold its responsibilities and condemn this unlawful criminal act".
He added that the attack was an obvious example of state terrorism and constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including those stipulated in the UN Charter.
"This extremely provocative move was aimed at escalating tensions to an uncontrollable level in a region already facing numerous challenges, and it is self-evident that the United States shall bear full responsibility for all consequences," he said.
The Iranian envoy noted in the letter that Soleimani was a key figure in combating and defeating the most dangerous terrorist groups in regional countries, such as the self-styled Islamic State and other groups and entities designated as terrorists by the UN Security Council.
"This was widely and repeatedly acknowledged by the officials of the countries concerned."
According to Takht-Ravanchi, the assassination, therefore, invalidated the US claim that it is fighting terrorism in the region.
"It is, in fact, fighting those who combat terrorists," he said.
"Such a hypocritical policy … seriously undermines regional and global efforts in combating international terrorism."
The US had earlier blacklisted IRGC, including its Quds Force that is in charge of overseas operations, as “a Foreign Terrorist Organization”.
The UN envoy said the designation of an official branch of the armed forces of other states as an FTO constitutes a breach of generally recognized principles of international law and of the UN Charter, including the principle of sovereign equality of states.
It, therefore, cannot justify any threat or use of force against them, including in the territory of other states.
Takht-Ravanchi said in conclusion that the Iranian armed forces, especially the Quds Force, are determined to "vigorously continue the path of Martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani in combating terrorist groups in the region until they are uprooted completely".