US says Soleimani was attacked for self-defense; both sides are justified

According to Reuters, the United States told the UN that the assassination of the Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani last week was an act of self-defense, and also promised to “take measures as necessary” in the Middle East to protect the US personnel and interests.

In an official letter to the UN Security Council, the US Ambassador Kelly Kraft also noted the state’s readiness to “engage in serious negotiations with Iran without any preconditions in order to prevent further threats to international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime”.

The assassination of Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad was justified by Article 51 of the UN Charter. In accordance with Article 51, countries are required to “immediately inform” the Security Council of 15 members of any measures taken in the exercise of the right to self-defense. The United States used Article 51 to justify actions in Syria against Islamic State* militants in 2014.

Iran also justified its actions under Article 51 of the UN Charter in a letter to the US Security Council on Wednesday. According to diplomats, the US letter to the US Security Council came after the letter from Iran.

Iranian Ambassador to the USA Majid Taht Ravanchi said that Tehran “does not seek escalation or war” after exercising its right to self-defense, having accepted a “balanced and proportionate military retaliatory strike against the US air base in Iraq”.

“The operation was accurate and aimed at military purposes, thus leaving no collateral damage to civilians and civilian property in the area”, – Ravanchi writes.

“Seriously warning of any further military adventurism against him, Iran declares that it is determined to continue to vigorously and in accordance with applicable international law protect its people, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity from any aggression”, – he said.

Iran fully respects the sovereignty of Iraq, he added.

*-Terrorist organization banned in Russia

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