Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif used the Raisina Dialogue platform to raise the issue of killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
Calling it an “assassination”, the minister said that by killing Soleimani, US has supported the Daesh/Islamic State.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi on Wednesday the Iranian minister hit out at America saying, “The two people celebrating the killing of Qassem Soleimani are Daesh (IS/ISIS) and President Trump.”
The Iranian General was critical to fighting the extremist elements in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and rest of the region. The US alleged that Soleimani was using proxies against US forces in the region.
Javad Zarif also said that Soleimani had many supporters in India. He said around 430 Indian cities rose to protest the killing of Soleimani.
“US called General Soleimani a terrorist. But after his assassination, 430 Indian cities witnessed spontaneous meetings to mourn General Soleimani, the man US termed terrorist. Do we have proxies in India?”, he questioned the US.
In the recent past, there have been many Indian cities where the Shia muslim population had taken to the streets demanding action against the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani.
Calling the attack unprovoked and rubbishing US’ contention that there was an imminent threat to America, Zarif said, “General Soleimani was the single most important challenger to Daesh. Two are celebrating . Trump – Pompeo and ISIS. You call them strange bed fellows? They are not. It was an unprovoked attack abusing Iraqi territory against Iraq’s guest.”
Responding to a question on Iran withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and what the future holds, the Iranian foreign minister asserted that it was not Tehran that is violating the deal but the international community ever since everything in the deal was spelled out in black and white including redressal.
“The good thing about Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is that it was a major achievement of multilateral forum. It was done in absolute mutual distrust. We did not presume that people will abide by the agreement. So we put up a mechanism with specific Articles to check violations.”
Emphasising the need to de-escalate, he said that the retaliations carried out by Iran were communicated to US prior to the action. The US was told that it was the final retaliation to US action against Soleimani and that they were not going to do anything further. “But, if they act on it then Iran would have to take action again”, said Javad Zarif.
To a question on the role India could play in de-escalation, he said, “They could be of help. India is an important country in the region.”