US should learn lessons, change course: Ambassador

London, Jan 11, IRNA - Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad said that the US should learn lessons from the developments in the region and change course as it has ventured into a very dangerous path by assassinating General Soleimani.

Speaking to reporters in Iran’s embassy in London, Baeidinejad called the assassination ‘[a] heinous terrorist attack’ and condemned the US justification through ‘wrong statements’.

The Iranian diplomat said that General Soleimani, aboard on a civil flight, was on an official mission to Iraq to be handed over an official letter that was formally confirmed by the Prime Minister of Iraq during a parliamentary session.

“I have a direct narration from an Iraqi official said that when Daesh (ISIS) was deployed 50 kilometers from Baghdad, Iraq reached out to a number of countries in the region at the highest level and no country accepted to assist… [But] General Soleimani accepted and managed to save Baghdad repulsing the ISIS invasion of Baghdad," Baeidinejal said.

He dubbed the attack carried out by Iran against the US airbase in Ain al-Assad in retaliation for the General’s martyrdom as ‘a measured, necessary action’ that was taken under Article 51 of UN charter on self-defense to prevent further aggression by the US.

Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani who was the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force commander, was assassinated along with his companions in a US army attack upon the direction of President Donald Trump on Jan 3, in Baghdad.

On Iran’s fifth step in reducing its commitments to the JCPOA, Iranian ambassador said that the move was not designed to undermine the deal, but to warn other parties to the JCPOA that it cannot be implemented one-sided by Iran.

Expressing his condolences to the families of the victims of Ukrainian airplane crash that killed all 176 people on board on Wednesday, he underlined that Iran is receiving delegations from Ukraine, Canada, US aviation authority and Boeing Company to participate in investigating the air disaster.

Iranian officials have admitted that human error was responsible for downing the passenger plane by a defensive missile strike and expressed regret and apologized for the tragedy.  

Asked if Iran’s precondition for returning to negotiation is still the removal of US sanctions, Baeidinejad answered: “There is a possibility to go back to the negotiating table… the US has to decide if they want to come back to the negotiating table, they must lift all sanctions.”

“We hope that President Trump learns good lessons from the events and developments we are witnessing and change course.”

He also called on the European signatories to the JCPOA to resolve their differences and fulfill their commitments to the deal.

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