The United States killing of Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, is unlawful, a United Nations expert says.
A report by the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, says the US had not provided sufficient evidence of an imminent threat to life to justify the attack.
She presented her findings on Thursday to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Her report says the US had provided no evidence that showed Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against US interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified.
“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.”
The drone strike therefore constituted an “arbitrary killing” for which the US is responsible under international human rights law, according to the report.
Ms Callamard also says Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes were unlawful.
The United States has however reacted to the report saying it is a means to give ‘a pass to terrorists’.
“It takes a special kind of intellectual dishonesty to issue a report condemning the United States for acting in self-defence while whitewashing General Soleimani’s notorious past as one of the world’s deadliest terrorists,” state department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Wednesday.
“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 in 2018, she added.
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