How world reacts to US killing of top Iran general Soleimani
Published on January 3, 2020 at 15.00
The world reacted with alarm on Friday after top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US strike in Iraq, with leaders appealing for restraint. The attack was praised by US President Donald Trump's Republicans but elsewhere there were sharp warnings it could inflame regional tensions. Following are some of the reactions from around the world:
President Donald Trump tweeted out a picture of the US flag without any explanation, as the pre-dawn developments marked the most major escalation yet in a feared proxy war between Iran and the US on Iraqi soil.
Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State For Foreign Affairs: Dr Anwar Gargash said that wisdom and political solutions must prevail over confrontation and escalation, in comments published on Twitter.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “Iraqis dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more.”
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of US House Of Representatives: “Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America — and the world — cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return. The Administration has conducted tonight’s strikes in Iraq without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran. Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress.”
US Senator Jim Risch, Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans,” Risch said on Twitter. On behalf of every American serviceman and servicewoman who has either been killed or injured due to an Iranian-provided IED or rocket in Iraq over the years, today justice was done.”
Former US Vice President Joe Biden: “This is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region... President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox, and he owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep safe our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond.”
US Senator Elizabeth Warren, US Democratic Presidential Contender: “Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “All enemies should know that the militant of resistance will continue with a doubled motivation, and a definite victory awaits the fighters in the holy war,” Khamenei said in a statement carried by TV.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “Soleimani’s martyrdom will make Iran more decisive to resist America’s expansionism and to defend our Islamic values,” Rouhani said in a statement. “With no doubt, Iran and other freedom-seeking countries in the region will take his revenge.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: “The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani... will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous,” Zarif said in a statement. On Twitter he called the killing “an extremely dangerous and foolish escalation.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi: The air strike on Baghdad airport is an act of aggression on Iraq and a breach of its sovereignty that will lead to war in Iraq, the region, and the world, Abdul Mahdi said in a statement. The strike also violated the conditions of US military presence in Iraq and should be met with legislation that safeguards Iraq’s security and sovereignty, he added.