MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese colleague Wang Yi have stressed that US strikes in Baghdad, which killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, violate the UN Charter, the Russian Foreign Ministry informed on the outcomes of the phone call between the Russian and Chinese top diplomats on Saturday.
"[The ministers] focused on the consequences of US strikes on the Baghdad airport, which led to casualties, including Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani," the ministry noted. "The ministers have stressed that the use of force in violation of the UN Charter is unacceptable. They called for all countries to respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of other states."
"The ministers have noted that the unlawful act by the USA has exacerbated tensions in the region. In these conditions, Russia and China are interested in alleviating the tensions. Both states will take joint steps with the aim to create the conditions for peaceful regulation of conflict situations," the Russian ministry stated. The top diplomats also agreed to maintain cooperation within the UN Security Council.
On Friday, the Pentagon confirmed that a missile strike near the Baghdad airport killed the head of the Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. The operation was carried out at the direction of US President Donald Trump, the statement said. According to the Pentagon, the strike was defensive, since it was aimed at protecting US troops in Iraq and other countries. Washington blamed Soleimani for allegedly approving a rally outside the US Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.
Following the attack, the Supreme National Security Council of Iran vowed to exact "severe revenge" on those involved in Soleimani’s killing, blaming the United States for the attack. In a phone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the attack as an act of terrorism from the side of the US. He pointed out that Tehran would take international measures to hold Washington responsible for the general’s murder.