Groups say US assassination of Iranian general violates international law

“Trump thinks that a war with Iran will work in his favor. He overestimates US capacity and grossly underestimates global resistance to US imperialism.”

By JUSTIN UMALI
Bulatlat.com

SANTA ROSA, Laguna – International organizations condemned the United States’ recent assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, January 2 and warned the US against launching a war on Iran.

Len Cooper, chairperson of the anti-imperialist International League of Peoples’ Struggles, described the assassination as an “arrogant act of murder by the US government and a blatant violation of international law and Iraqi sovereignty by US imperialism.”

The January 2 airstrike was part of a series of military escalations by the United States in the Middle East. The Pentagon has justified the attack as a “defensive action to protect US personnel abroad.”

Cooper stated that these acts were part of the United States’ efforts to impose imperialist will in the Middle East, the goal being to “force the Iranian government to bow down in submission to its dictates in order to further carry out plunder in the region.”

Jose Maria Sison, ILPS Chairman Emeritus, called the attack an act of “multiple murder” and “aggression against the sovereignty of Iraq and Iran,” in line with the “aggressive and terrorist character of US imperialism.”

“As the No. 1 terrorist in world history and contemporary times, US imperialism has committed acts of aggression, destroying the lives and properties of millions of people, even without the formal declaration of war,” he said.

The United States has interfered with Iranian affairs since 1953, when the Central Intelligence Agency and the British MI6 staged a coup to depose Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who had wanted to nationalize the British-controlled Iranian oil industry.

An ‘illegal act of aggression’

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, meanwhile, cited Soleimani’s assassination as a violation of the United Nations Charter, which the United States has ratified. They called the killing “an illegal act of aggression which violates US and international law.”

IADL cited Article 2.3 of the UN Charter, which requires all member states to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, are not endangered.” They added that although Articles 51 and 42 of the UN Charter allow for the use of force, the United States’ justifications for the attack do not qualify under the provisions of the charter.

The United States claimed that Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” which does not qualify as an act of self-defense. The IADL also pointed out that the US did not bring the matter to the UN Security Council, which under Article 42, is the body allowed to authorize use of force.

This is also counter to statements made by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi that Soleimani was in the middle of coordinating de-escalation between Iran and its regional rival, Saudi Arabia. Soleimani was supposed to meet with Abdul-Mahdi the day he was killed to deliver a message.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also condemned the attack and called it “a criminal act, sanctioned by the criminal-in-chief US President Donald Trump.” They pointed out that US actions in the Middle East serve to “destabilize the region and threaten its people, including overseas Filipino workers.”

Bayan and ILPS pointed out that Soleimani’s assassination comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is experiencing low approval ratings and an impeachment complaint.

“Trump is short-sightedly motivated by his selfish desire to overcome his current impeachment and to win the next presidential elections through warmongering and arousing the jingoistic sentiments that favor US imperialism,” said Sison.

Trump is currently facing impeachment raps on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, following attempts to obstruct a House inquiry on Trump’s solicitation of foreign interference in the upcoming 2020 US elections.

“Trump hopes that a war with Iran will divert public attention away from the impeachment complaint and help boost his chances in the November presidential elections,” Bayan said in a statement. “Trump thinks that a war with Iran will work in his favor. He overestimates US capacity and grossly underestimates global resistance to US imperialism.”

Tweets from 2011 on Trump’s twitter account accused former President Barack Obama of “starting a war with Iran” in order to get re-elected, suspiciously echoing current events.

Reprisal

Both the Iraqi and Iranian governments moved quickly in response to Soleimani’s assassination. The Iraqi parliament voted January 6 to expel all US troops from the country, while Iran claimed responsibility for rocket attacks against two Iraqi bases housing US troops, January 8.

The IADL called on the UN Security Council to step in and “take all necessary measures to put an end to all US aggressions and interferences in the Middle East and to maintain peace and security in the region,” emphasizing that the US’ recent actions are in violation of international humanitarian law.

The United States is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Bayan urged the Philippine government to “vigorously protest US armed aggression in the Middle East,” citing how increased tensions in the region threaten the safety of overseas Filipinos. The Duterte administration has, meanwhile, expressed his intent to “side with the Americans” should Filipinos be harmed in the conflict.

Cooper said that it supports all measures of protest and mobilization against “this latest act of US imperialist aggression.”
Iran has threatened to respond with “more painful and crushing responses” should the United States “repeat [their] wickedness or take any additional movements or make additional aggression,” following the rocket attacks at the Iraqi Al-Asad airbase and the town of Erbil. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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