A country that has been attacked has every right to defend itself, the Iranian ambassador to India told NDTV on Friday evening, because the Middle East simmers following the death of General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, during a US air strike on the Iraqi capital. Describing General Soleimani as a “champion against terrorism”, Dr Ali Chegeni refused to rule out the likelihood of retaliatory strikes against the us which the escalation of action within the region could lead on to yet more conflict within the war-torn region.
“My government has mentioned we are getting to retaliate… yes, it’s the legitimate right of each country that has been attacked to defend itself. it’s normal,” Dr Chegeni said, remarking that US claims that his country was behind strikes on Saudi oil facilities late last year were never proven.
“Iran never attacked Saudi or the other country within the region… (untrue) that Iran attacked Aramco or petrol facility of Saudi. UN report said no document was there… no proof,” he added.
Last month, press agency Reuters reported that a US investigation of the Aramco attack indicated the strike originated from the north and identified similarities between drones utilized in the attack and people produced and designed by an Iranian firm.
However, during a report by Bloomberg, United Nations investigators said they were “unable to independently corroborate” an equivalent finding.
General Qasem Soleimani was killed in Baghdad within the early hours of Friday morning after a volley of missiles were fired near the city’s international airport. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary and a minimum of six people .
Iran has vowed “severe revenge (for) criminals who bloodied their foul hands together with his blood”. during a statement the country’s Foreign Ministry said the US would “answer for this clear atrocity”.
“Iran may be a country that has never attacked the other in its history… whatever has been done by America against General Soleimani, who was champion against terrorism and beloved by Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian governments… he has been attacked and assassinated by,” Dr Chegeni told NDTV.
The ambassador also mentioned the us as a “state terrorist”, saying that by this act it had shown itself to be a “supporter of terrorism”.
United States President Donald Trump welcomed the death of General Soleimani during a tweet posted on Friday, claiming that the overall had “killed or badly wounded thousands of usa citizens … and was plotting to kill many more”.
However, consistent with Democrat Eliot Engel, who heads the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, the airstrike “went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress”.
India has involved restraint, saying it’s “vital that things doesn’t escalate further”.
According to a report by press agency AFP, General Soleimani was one among the foremost popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has named the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm – brigadier Esmail Qaani – because the new commander.