'World cannot afford' another Gulf war, says UN chief after US kills Iran general

WION Web Team United Nations, United States Jan 03, 2020, 10.20 PM(IST)

Antonio Guterres. Photograph:( PTI )

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The United States on Friday killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, in a strike on Baghdad's international airport.

The world cannot afford another gulf war, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on Friday after the killing of Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani in US strike.

"The secretary-general has consistently advocated for de-escalation in the Gulf," a spokesman for Guterres said in a statement.

"This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf."

The United States on Friday killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, in a strike on Baghdad's international airport.

While the assassination was praised by US President Donald Trump's Republican party members, there were warnings of the danger by various world leaders and urged for restraint.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to take revenge as he said that "Soleimani's martyrdom redoubled the determination to stand against America's bullying and defend Islamic values". 

"There is no doubt that the great nation of Iran and the other free nations of the region will take revenge for this gruesome crime from criminal America," Rouhani said, referring to Iran's allies across the Middle East.

Soleimani's "martyrdom ... by the aggressor and criminal America has saddened the heart of the nation of Iran and all the nations of the region," he said in a statement posted on the Iranian government website.

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His death had "redoubled the determination of the nation of Iran and other free nations to stand against America's bullying and defend Islamic values", said Rouhani.

Rouhani also said, "This vile and cowardly act is another sign of America's desperation and weakness in the region."

Meanwhile, thousands of people in Iran took streets to protest against Soleimani's killing

Chanting "Death to America" and holding up posters of the slain commander, the demonstrators filled streets for several blocks in central Tehran after Friday prayers.

(With inputs from agencies)