US Assassination of Gen. Soleimani Act of ‘State Terrorism’: Iran’s Zarif

US Assassination of Gen. Soleimani Act of ‘State Terrorism’: Iran’s Zarif

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the US assassination of Lt. General Qassem Soleimanian as an act of "state terrorism".

Zarif told CNN on Tuesday that the Trump administration's decision to abandon the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers "destroyed stability" in the Middle East, and he warned of worse to come if the US did not reverse course.

"This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally," he said. "We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump."

Zarif was referring to a tweet Trump sent Saturday in which the US president said that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the United States has 52 Iranian sites targeted "some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture".

Iran's top diplomat said those comments showed Trump "has no respect for international law and is prepared to commit war crimes -- attacking cultural sites is a war crime."

The interview came as Iran's parliament voted unanimously for a motion declaring all US forces as "terrorists" on Tuesday. The vote took place during the country's parliamentary session on Tuesday.

"President Trump, after watching the crowds (paying homage to the general) yesterday, must stop threatening these people who will be further enraged by his threats -- his threats will not frighten us," Zarif said.

He added, "A war was started a long time ago by the United States, the United States destroyed stability in this region, the United States undermined security in this region."

Zarif also said that by leaving the nuclear deal, Trump threw the Middle East into chaos.

"What is important for the Trump regime to realize is that everything in this region was improving following the JCPOA," Zarif said.

Lt. General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha'abi (PMU), and a number of their entourage were killed in a strike by American drones near Baghdad International Airport in the early hours of Friday.

The White House and the Pentagon claimed responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq, saying the attack was carried out at the direction of Trump.

In a message on Friday morning, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei warned that harsh revenge awaits the criminals behind the martyrdom of General Soleimani.

Ayatollah Khamenei also reminded all friends and enemies of the Iranian general that the resistance path will continue vigorously, stressing that continued battle and ultimate victory will disappoint the murderers and criminals.

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