Alwaght- A top United Nations investigator condemned the US assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January as “unlawful”, highlighting once again what many experts call the nature of the American state terrorism on the global stage and infuriating the Washington officials.
On Wednesday Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, presented her report on the assassination of General Soleimani of the IRGC’s Quds Force by direct order from the US President Donald Trump to the Human Rights Council in Geneva. She said that the assassination of General Soleimani was “unprecedented” within the framework of armed conflicts, especially that it was conducted in a sovereign state.
The report said that there was no evidence of planning for imminent attacks by the top general on the US interests, especially in Iraq, that would draw a fast and justified response.
She added although General Soleimani was in charge of Iran’s strategy and military actions in Syria and Iraq, including the anti-terror operations, he posed no threats to figures related to the US and thus the US military action against him was “unlawful.”
As she presented her report to a session especially dedicated to the US operation in Baghdad airport, she said that the massive deployment of drones by the US was dangerous.
She said this move by the US was unprecedented in the armed conflicts as it targeted a top military official in a country with sovereignty.
She argued that if the international community does not stop the large-scale spread of drones, all will be victims to them soon. The UN Security Council needs to try to write standards on the use of some specific weapons, she told the representatives.
Two days earlier, the special rapporteur also had condemned the US attack on the Iranian general who was in Iraq at the behest of the Iraqi government to help the battle against ISIS, saying that the measure was a violation of the international rules and the UN charter.
She added that the US administration failed to provide sufficient documents of an imminent attack on the US interests in justification of its attack on the general’s convoy upon its exit from Baghdad International Airport.
She told Reuters that in relation to the use of the drones the world is in a highly sensitive, and possibly critical, point. The UNSC is doing nothing and the international community is intentionally or unintentionally silent.
General Soleimani was assassinated by direct order from Trump by Pentagon’s combat drones on January 3 along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and eight others while their convoy was leaving Baghdad airport.
US anger at the report
As the report and the condemnation were published, the White House officials reacted several times.
First was John Bolton, who was Trump’s National Security Advisor when the attack was conducted.
“New criticism from the UN characterizing the strike on Soleimani as ‘unlawful’ is baseless. This is exactly why we withdrew from UN Human Rights. We don’t answer to a higher power in the UN nor do we need advice on how to implement the US Constitution, Bolton’s tweet read.
Then came the reaction from Morgan Ortagus, the spokeswoman to the Department of State. She said that the report by the special UN rapporteur would “whitewash” General Soleimani.
She added that the US does not see justified and right the report which said the US by assassinating the Iranian general violated the international law and that the apparently terrorist attack was in self-defense.
These reactions come while the US government, called by Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, suspended its membership in the Human Rights Council since 2018. The suspension came in support of the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians and to evade questions surrounding the Afghanistan and Iraq war crimes.
General Soleimani still a nightmare to his assassins
The Iranian mission to the Human Rights Council told the other members that the assassination of General Soleimani threatened international security and stability as it breached international laws.
“Martyr Soleimani left behind policy and path and these would not be blocked even after his assassination,” Iran’s representative Ismail Baghaee Hamaneh said.
Hamaneh, addressing the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, said that the assassination of General Soleimani was an “unlawful act and a big crime threatening the world peace and security.”
“This action not only violates the international laws and the UN charter but also violates human rights principles. The report by the special UN rapporteur on the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani is unquestionable,” he said.
He asked the UN’s body to set off alarm bells as the most basic human rights, the rule of law, and the international principles are risked and undermined by the US violations. He added that General Soleimani was a popular champion of the Iranian people and his assassination in addition to hurting their sentiments bore witness to the US hostile approach to the Iranian people over the past four decades.
In the end, he said that General Soleimani lived “like a hero and then was martyred.” “He remains a nightmare to his killers,” Hamaneh added.
US isolation and other countries’ supporting stances to the report
While the US diplomats sought to overshadow the report by their evasive comments in a broader effort to damage its credibility, the support by other countries apparently isolated the US and confirmed that many countries believed that the US took a criminal action.
Hessmuddin Alla, the Syrian representative to the UN office in Geneva, said that the increasing use of drones in frequent operations by the US, the Israeli regime, and Turkey is emboldened by the silence of the Security Council and its inability to counter such actions that very obviously endanger the international peace and security and violate the international laws and the UN charter.
According to the Syrian official news agency SANA, during a meeting of the Human Right Council, Allah argued that these three sides’ excuses to justify their crimes under the ruse of the fight against terrorism were simply legal innovations in stark contrast to the UN principles of respect to the sovereignty of states and prevention of use of force in the international relations.
Also, Iraq’s representative said that the assassination of the two commanders was a “brazen violation of our sovereignty.”
The British envoy said that the US action was out of the framework of law and a deviation from the international laws.
France’s envoy said that selective assassinations should be within the law.
The Turkish envoy said that Turkey is facing unprecedented security challenges but “we adhere to the international laws.”
In response to Bolton’s tweet about constitutional basis for the assassination, Russian envoy Michail Ulyanov asked if assassinating a foreign country’s official in a third country was implementation of the US constitution.