A top United Nations investigator slammed the Trump administration for killing the Iranian terrorist leader Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January, calling the action “unlawful.”
Agnes Callamard, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, stated in her report, which was to be submitted to the Human Rights Council on Thursday, “To the extent that evidence points to the U.S. and Iranian strikes being retaliations or reprisals, each would be unlawful.” The report also said that the attack on Soleimani violated the territorial integrity of Iraq.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus asserted, “It takes a special kind of intellectual dishonesty to issue a report condemning the United States for acting in self-defense while whitewashing General Soleimani’s notorious past as one of the world’s deadliest terrorists. This tendentious and tedious report undermines human rights by giving a pass to terrorists and it proves once again why America was right to leave” the UN Human Rights Council, The Times of Israel reported.
A State Department official echoed, “The strike in Iraq was necessary to achieve these purposes and, given its limited nature, proportionate to that aim,” The Wall Street Journal added.
“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” President Trump said on Jan. 3. Days later, he said simply, “Soleimani has been called a monster. And he was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead. He was traveling with the head of Hezbollah; they weren’t there to discuss a vacation; they weren’t there to go to a nice resort somewhere in Baghdad; they were there to discuss bad business, and we saved a lot of lives by terminating his life.”
Trump continued, “We had tremendous information; we’ve been following him for a long time. We followed his path for those three days and they were not good stops. We did ourselves and we did a lot of countries a big favor. I’ve been hearing from countries; they were extremely happy with what we did. And if you look inside Iran itself, there were plenty of those leaders that were happy because they feared him and didn’t like him in many cases.”
Callamard told the Journal, “I can only work and analyze the facts on the basis of the information that is being made available by the United States to the Security Council,” adding, “They provided no proof whatsoever that Mr. Soleimani was planning an imminent attack.”
She attacked the Trump administration’s justification for the attack, saying the claim of self-defense was in “complete contradiction” with international jurisprudence, and patronizing, “International law is international. It is not American.”
The Journal said the U.N. report noted the attack “was the first in which a U.N. member state invoked self-defense as a justification for an attack against a state actor, rather than nonstate militant groups, in the territory of another state.”
Callamard concluded, “It opens the door to constant international warfare.”