The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations described the killing of one of his country’s top generals as an act of war, US media reported late Friday.
The death of Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the United States, despite President Donald Trump’s insistence he did not want war.
But, speaking to CNN late Friday night, Iranian ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said: “In fact was an act of war on the part of the United States and against Iranian people.”
“Last night they (the US) started a military war by assassinating by an act of terror against one of our top generals. So what else can be expected of Iran to do? We cannot just remain silent. We have to act and we will act,” he said.
“We can’t just close our eyes to what happened last night. Definitely there will be revenge, a harsh revenge.”
“The response for a military action is a military action. By whom, by when, where? that is for the future to witness,” he ended the interview by stating.
The remarks follow Trump, speaking on Friday night to Evangelical supporters in Miami, saying that Soleimani was planning “a very major attack” and that he had been preparing multiple “attacks against Americans”.
Soleimani — long seen as a deadly adversary by the US and its allies — was one of the most important power-brokers across the region, setting Iran’s political and military agenda in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.