Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by the US drones at Baghdad International Airport early in January. The raid also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Deputy Commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi.
"The killing of General Soleimani shows how dangerously close the world has been to a major and deadly crisis," the United Nations's Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Killings Agnes Callamard told Al-Jazeera on Sunday.
"It should send us all a clear warning. The international community now confronts the very real prospect that states may opt to 'strategically' eliminate high ranking military officials outside the context of a 'known' war, and try to justify such a killing on the grounds of the target's classification as a 'terrorist' who posed a potential, undefined, future threat," she stated.
Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for US President Donald Trump over Assassination of Gen. Soleimani, Asks Interpol to Help pic.twitter.com/9pYpuNMw20— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) June 29, 2020
It was not the first time that the UN's representative condemns murder of Tehran's elite commander. She has recently noted that the US strike that assassinated General Soleimani was not justified by any ongoing or imminent attack on American interests and violated the UN charter.
“Major General Soleimani was in charge of Iran military strategy, and actions, in Syria and Iraq. But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful,” an excerpt of the report published by Reuters on Monday read.
Shortly after the Pentagon's terror operation, Callamard said Washington's decision to assassinate General Soleimani, cannot be justified under international law.
The "targeted killings" of both men "most likely violate international law incl[uding] human rights law", Callamard announced, adding, "Outside the context of active hostilities, the use of drones or other means for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal."
Tensions around Iran have been rising since President Donald Trump torpedoed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sweeping sanctions targeting large swathes of Iran’s economy. The conflict between Washington and Tehran hit record highs after an intruding American spy drone was shot down by the IRGC in Iranian sky.
His assassination has inflamed tensions between Washington and Tehran, and drew a harsh rebuke from Baghdad, prompting the Iraqi Parliament to pass a resolution ordering American forces to leave the country.