Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — As Iranians are mourning the death of General Ghasem Soleimani assassinated in the US air strike last week, the Iran embassy here held a condolence meeting on Wednesday alongside the mourning in other parts of the world.
Iranian ambassador in New Delhi Dr. Ali Chegeni said Tehran officially informed the UN Security Council about the missile attack it launched against US bases in Iraq. He said Iran did not want a war and accused the US of escalating tension in the region. Welcoming the initiatives from various countries especially India, he said Iran gave utmost importance to the peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
Dr Chegeni talking to media said that Iran considered the assassination of General Ghassem Soleimani a “criminal act of the US government.” Assassinating such a notable figure was not only a blow to international law and norms but it also served as a boost to the remnant terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, he said.
The Iranian envoy reiterated that his government had announced that it did not want a war. “We announced we are not welcoming any war or escalation. This is the official stand of the government. So, we hope escalation will not go on. They did something wrong and we did something right.”
On the efforts to de-escalate tension, being made by friendly countries, he said Iran welcomed all such initiatives. “We welcome all the initiatives from all the countries especially India as a good friend for us to not allow the escalation go on. We are not for war, we are looking for peace and prosperity for everybody in this region; the energy, life, dignity, economy and everything is very important for everyone.”
When asked about the missile attack on US targets in Iraq, the envoy said, “We officially announced to the UN Security Council that this was done. We did so at the same time we launched the missile against US bases in Iraq to defend our rights. That was the demand of my people and we defend our pride.”
He said Iran made it clear that all the responsibilities of this “criminal act by the US” and escalation of tensions in the region rested with the “terrorist” US government. It must bear all the repercussions of this act.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, a victim of terrorism and foreign aggression, has neither started any war during the modern history, nor sponsored or supported any act of terrorism. It has always been committed to preservation and strengthening of regional and global peace and security,” he added.
At the same time, the Iranian envoy said, Iran considered safeguarding its national and security interests as a legitimate right. On the basis of its inevitable right to self-defence, it shall take appropriate retaliatory action at the suitable time and place, he said.
The envoy said the US, in order to cover up its crime and savage act of assassinating General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandes, was trying to divert public opinion by brandishing blatant lies, spreading baseless accusations and unleashing vast propaganda. For ensuring global peace and stability, the Iranian envoy said, his country wanted all the governments of the region and the whole world to condemn the US act in the strongest possible terms.
While revealing that Iran got help from India in the war against terror, Dr Chegeni stated that General Soleimani was a military adviser to Iran in Iraq and Syria, and he was there at the invitation from the “legitimate governments” of Syria and Iraq, in order to help their national military and defence forces in countering and combating terrorist groups including the Daesh, Al-Nusra Front, and Al-Qaeda.