Iran’s UN ambassador calls Qassem Soleimani strike an ‘act of war’

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations on Friday called the US killing of top general Qassem Soleimani an “act of war.”

Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi in an interview on CNN warned that there would be “harsh revenge” for the US airstrike that killed the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force early on Friday.

“In fact, it was an act of war on the part of the United States against the Iranian people,” he said.

The US “started a military war by assassinating, by an act of terror, against one of our top generals,” Ravanchi added.

“We cannot just close our eyes to what happened last night,” he said. “Definitely there will be revenge. There will be harsh revenge. Iran will act based on its own choosing. The time and place will be decided by Iran.”

Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters that Soleimani had to be taken out to protect American lives, saying: “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” Trump said.

The commander-in-chief said that Soleimani had plotted the rocket attack last weekend that killed an American contractor and wounded service members, as well as the attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad that followed.

Ravanchi denied those claims in another interview with NBC News.

“They have not shown any evidence to support their arguments,” he told the outlet. “And if they have any documents they should show it.”

He also shot down Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that Soleimani was “working actively” on an imminent attack in the region.

“Definitely it is rejected,” Ravanchi told CNN. “If they have evidence they should show it.”

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