We reject the report and opinions released today by UN Special Rapporteur Callamard related to the U.S. strike that killed Islamic Republic Guard Corps Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Ms. Callamard’s conclusions are spurious. The strike that killed General Soleimani was in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in preceding months by the Islamic Republic of Iran and militias it supports on U.S. forces and interests in the Middle East region. It was conducted to deter Iran from launching or supporting further attacks against the United States or U.S. interests, and to degrade the capabilities of the Qods Force.
The United States is transparent regarding the international law basis for the strike. As we outlined in a January 8, 2020, letter to the UN Security Council submitted in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, the strike was undertaken in the exercise of the United States’ inherent right of self-defense. As the President said on January 2, “We will always protect our diplomats, service members, and all Americans.”