UN Expert Deems U.S. Killing Of Iranian Top General 'Unlawful'

Elias Hubbard
July 9, 2020

"No evidence has been provided that General Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against USA interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified", she wrote in a report set to be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council, of which the U.S.is not a member.

The US strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was not justified by any ongoing or imminent attack on American interests and violated the United Nations charter, according to United Nations rapporteur on arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard.

The attack, she wrote, violated Article 2 (4) of the U.N.'s charter, which bans "the threat or use of force and calls on all Members to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other States". While no casualties were initially reported, the possibility of the conflict mushrooming into an all-out war led the Iraqi Parliament to issue a resolution ordering all foreign troops off Iraqi soil.

Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned armed fighters on USA forces in the region.

Her report on targeted killings through armed drones - around half of which deals with the Soleimani case - is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Thursday. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.

"This tendentious and tedious report undermines human rights by giving a pass to terrorists and it proves once again why American was right to leave the council".

The Jan. 3 drone strike was the first known incident in which a nation invoked self-defense as a justification for an attack against a state actor in the territory of a third country, Callamard added. Last week, Iran issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump and 35 other Americans deemed responsible for the death of its beloved general, seeking the assistance of Interpol in apprehending the suspects. US-Iran envoy Brian Hook described the move as a "propaganda stunt".

Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran's campaign to drive USA forces out of Iraq, and built up Iran's network of proxy armies across the Middle East. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on US forces in the region.

The January drone strike was met with a barrage of rockets from Tehran, which hit two military bases in Iraq used by USA and coalition forces.

Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the drone strike.

After the retaliatory attacks, tensions between the United States and Iran subsided.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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