U.N. Investigator Says U.S. Not Justified In Killing Qassem Soleimani

(PresidentialWire.com)- Last week, Iran issued an arrest warrant for President Donald Trump, accusing him of murder for his role in the strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the country’s Major General.

This week, a human rights investigator for the United Nations said the killing “was unlawful and arbitrary under international law.”

A drone strike in Baghdad in January is what killed Soleimani. That was a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty, according to the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard.

The investigator also said the United States has yet produced proof to back the country’s claim that killing Soleimani was justified because it was stopping an imminent attack the Iranian general was planning.

Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have all said the United States targeted Soleimani to prevent a threat that was looming. Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Soleimani was responsible for Iran’s military strategy against the United States. The U.S. killed him with a drone strike at Baghdad’s airport. He and those he was with were killed while traveling in a convoy.

After the attack, Trump said Soleimani was “plotting imminent and sinister attacks” against American interests.

Callamard, however, hasn’t found anything that would have justified the rationale for killing Soleimani. She also said because Iraq didn’t give its consent for the attack on their soil, it violated the country’s sovereignty.

In a report that she is presenting to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council this week, she wrote:

“No evidence has been provided that General Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against U.S. interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified.”

Callamard claims the attack on Soleimani violated a section of the U.N. Charter that “prohibits the threat or use of force and calls on all Members to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other States.”

The investigator cited comments from both governments following the attack that referred to past clashes and disputes, rather than on the imminent future threats the U.S. is claiming Soleimani was planning.

Callamard said the killing is the first time the U.N. knows of where a nation has said that self-defense was being used to justify “an attack against a State-actor, in the territory of another state.”

The investigator also referred to the fact that Soleimani was on an official visit in the country from the prime minister of Iraq. In the strike, at least 10 other people were killed, including five members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, a group that is backed by Iran, as well as four other members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The report also says there are “scores” of civilian deaths that are also linked to the attack. Callamard calls for the U.N. to place new restrictions on the use of drones. The report reads:

“As a number of drones’ strikes have demonstrated, a country’s ability to take out big-name targets, without any casualties on its side, is a political gain for the government at the time, even though it may not see ‘military victory’ in the longer term.”