MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iranian colleague Mohammad Javad Zarif have stressed during Saturday’s phone call that the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by the US forces is a blatant violation of international law, the Russian Foreign Ministry informed.
"Lavrov has expressed condolences over the murder of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander [Qasem] Soleimani by US forces near Baghdad," the ministry noted. "The ministers have stressed that US actions are a blatant violation of the basic norms of international law and that they do not help find a solution to complicated issues facing the Middle East. Instead, they lead to a new wave of escalation of tensions in the region."
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.