The UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, reported that the assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, carried out by the United States on January 3, is a violation of international law.
The expert stressed that it is the first known case in history when a nation alleges alleged self-defense to justify the murder of a senior official from another country on the territory of a third State.
“Major General Soleimani was in charge of Iran’s strategy and military actions in Syria and Iraq. But in the absence of a real imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the United States was illegal,” Reuters cites from the official’s report.
To date, the US has presented no evidence that can demonstrate that there was an imminent or ongoing threat against its interests. Therefore, Callamard indicates that said attack has not been justified.
“The world is at a critical moment, probably on the verge of a point of no return, when the use of drones is reached … The Security Council has disappeared in action. The international community, voluntarily or not, is largely silent ” Callamard added to Reuters.
The report will be presented to the Human Rights Council on July 9. On that day, the Member States will be able to discuss the actions to be taken. The US will not participate in these debates since the North American country left the council in 2018.
How was Soleimani’s murder perpetrated?
The events occurred on January 3 near the Baghdad International Airport, where the Iranian general was leaving. It was then that several missiles hit the car in which he was travelling.
As a result of the attack, nine other people who were accompanying Soleimani also died. The Pentagon was quick to assume responsibility for the drone attack, alluding to a suspected imminent threat.
With this, evidence of the existence of said threat was never presented. Soleimani was not just any general since apart from being a prominent figure in many areas, he also enjoyed great popularity among the population of Iran.
For his part, the President of the Islamic Republic, Hasan Rohani, threatened revenge against the United States, which today was limited to a missile attack on a military base of the western coalition in Iraq. Tehran did so with prior notice, which is why fatalities were avoided.
Iran later issued an arrest warrant against US President Donald Trump, since he stated that the murder was carried out under his direct order.