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US has ‘definite international responsibility’ for Soleimani assassination, says Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members and supporters of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) take part in a symbolic funeral in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, on December 29, 2021, commemorating the second anniversary of the US assassination of Iran’s top anti- terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, including PMU Deputy Chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. (File photo by AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the US government has a “definite international responsibility” over its assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani.

In a statement released on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Washington’s criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani is an example of a “terrorist attack” that was organized and operated by the then-US administration and is now the responsibility of the White House.

“Under international and legal standards, the US government has definitive international responsibility for this crime,” read the statement.

“Martyr General Soleimani invariably played a role in line with the principled policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help establish peace and stability at the regional and international levels, and adopted various measures and devoted a great deal of efforts to combat international terrorism and growing terrorist outfits across the region,” the statement said.

Hailing General Soleimani as the hero of the fight against terrorism, the Foreign Ministry said the prominent commander’s assassination exposed the US’s support for terrorist groups and Washington’s lies of countering terrorism.

“The martyrdom of General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their great companions, not only did not diminish the capacity of the Axis of Resistance, but on the one hand imbued the domestic environment of Iran with national cohesion and unity, and on the other hand further highlighted the strategy and discourse of the Resistance,” added the statement.

Along with his companions, including al-Muhandis, who served as the deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), General Soleimani was targeted in a US drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

The US assassination, directly ordered by former US president Donald Trump, drew a wave of condemnations from officials and movements throughout the world and triggered huge public protests across the region.

Early on January 8, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the US-run Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar with a barrage of missiles in revenge.

Iran stresses that its retaliation is not over.

‘Assassination fallout disrupted US equations’

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the IRGC’s attack on Ain al-Assad, along with the spiritual effects of the blood of Iranian and Iraqi martyrs, upset Washington’s equations and brought about the failure of the US regional strategy.

“The US fleeing from Afghanistan, the beginning of the process of withdrawal from Iraq and the change in the strategy of the US military presence in the geostrategic region of Persian Gulf showcase a small part of such impacts and consequences,” the ministry noted.

It also held all the agents, instigators, contributors, and perpetrators responsible.

Therefore, the ministry continued, in cooperation with other agencies and the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Foreign Ministry has adopted measures from the very beginning based on the legal principle of “combating the impunity of criminals” to hold such individuals and entities accountable before the courts.

According to the statement, the moral, political, and legal condemnation expressed towards the US government on an international level for committing this crime has been one of the outcomes of such efforts.

“In following up this issue, it is necessary to point to the continuation of endeavors by the Joint Judicial Committee between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq,” the Foreign Ministry explained.

Highlighting President Raeisi administration’s priority of reaching out to neighbors, the ministry said the Iranian government and people consider themselves to be on the side of the governments of nations of the region.

“[We] will not spare any assistance to maintain territorial integrity and establish lasting stability and security, and development and prosperity among the countries of the region and the Msulim world,” it added.

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