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Soleimani’s killing is an attempt to jumpstart Trump’s election campaign - Russian senator

Konstantin Kosachev noted that "only time will tell whether it has been a successful move"

MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. The killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by US forces is an attempt to jumpstart US President Donald Trump election campaign, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev stated on Saturday on Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"To my mind, Trump is trying to jumpstart his election campaign. Only time will tell whether it has been a successful move," Kosachev said, commenting on the US strike on the Baghdad airport, which killed the Iranian military general.

Kosachev stressed that Trump wished to "play the Middle East card" during his election campaign. "He wants to do something that hasn’t been done by his predecessors before, that is, to "democratize" the Middle East. Of course, he needs to resolve the Iran issue for that," the senator said.

The politician pointed out that through its actions in the Middle East, Washington has only strengthened Tehran’s positions. "The US will carry on systemic efforts to repress any attempts by Iran to influence the situation in the region or to oppose the United States of America," Kosachev stressed.

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.