Iran not seeking war with US, but will defend itself: envoy

TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said that Tehran does not want escalation and war with the United States but will counter any aggression against itself

"Iran, in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, took proportional actions for self-defense and targeted a base from where a coward armed attack was carried out against our country’s citizens and high-ranking officials. We do not want escalation or war but we will protect ourselves against any aggression," Jalali said in an interview with TASS.

Washington bears responsibility for its illegal steps in the Middle East region and its consequences, Kazem Jalali said.

"The US government’s criminal acts are a gross violation of fundamental principles and are contrary to international norms and rules, in particular, the principle enshrined in the UN Charter, and the US government is responsible for violations of these norms and rules and their consequences," Kazem Jalali said.

The Iranian ambassador noted that the US actions violated Iraq’s sovereignty and the country’s government complained about this in the UN.

"Iran will definitely monitor this terrorist act by the American regime through the UN. In this context, Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad] Zarif held a conversation and consultations on this issue in the first hours with UN Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres," the diplomat said.

The mere fact of including the country’s military force in the list of terrorist organizations like this was done against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps violates the principles of international law, the UN Charter and the state’s sovereign rights, he noted. "This in no way can become a pretext for a threat or using force against them, in particular on other countries’ territory," Jalali said.

"America’s hypocritical policy runs counter to the country's international counterterrorism obligations, including [the UN] Security Council resolutions, and seriously weakens regional and global efforts on struggling against international terrorism. By this act America is actually waging war on those who are fighting terrorism," he stressed.

The ambassador recalled that over the past years Iran has been making efforts in the anti-terror fight, meeting its international commitments and the UN Security Council’s resolution.

He emphasized that Iranian Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, played an important role in providing assistance to regional nations in destroying the most dangerous terror groups such as ISIL.

MNA/TASS

News Code 154368

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