International Peace Bureau Statement on the U.S. Assassination of General Soleimani

The illegal assassination of Iranian General Soleimani was an act of war by the United States that must not be tolerated. Whatever the crimes of Soleimani have been, the United States has no legal or moral right to take such unilateral action or for the recent bombings of five Iranian related facilities in Iraq and Syria.  Iraq, Syria and Iran are sovereign nations and these U.S. attacks have been gross violations of international law, which prohibits such aggression. They have also humiliated and outraged the government and people of Iran. How would the U.S. respond to its military installations in Japan or Korea being attacked or to the assassination of the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

There is some concern that Soleimani’s murder may prove to be the equivalent of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 – that triggered World War I. Once the fires of war are lit, containing them is less than easy. We should have learned from the past that WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER.

 Our task now is to do all that we can to prevent an escalation, a wider war, or even a nuclear war, in response to what will certainly be Iran’s retaliation. We call immediately for urgent actions of the peace movement worldwide.

The U.S. is far from being an innocent in the Middle East. We have witnessed 70 years of U.S. aggression – military, diplomatic, economic, cultural and otherwise – to enforce hegemony/control over our oil under their sands. The people of the Middle East continue to suffer the price of conflict and proxy wars. They deserve the support of the world for a new peace process.

Donald Trump argues that the preemptive assassination was necessary, but it should be remembered that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran nuclear deal) provided the foundation for a diplomatic resolution of U.S.-Iranian tensions. It is Trump’s and Bolton’s violation of this U.N. Agreement that has opened the maw into which the world may now be falling. In response to a militia killing of a U.S. contractor, Trump and company have bombed and destroyed five military targets in Iraq and Syria, which resulted in a militant protest at the U.S. embassy, and that forces were gathering to retaliate.

Instead of initiating a war through the assassination of Soleimani, more rational leaders would have attempted to reverse the spiraling of military escalation through diplomacy, not murderous escalation.

We totally reject and abhor the foolhardy, belligerent and seriously dangerous actions of the U.S. in bringing the world even closer to a global conflict which would undoubtedly include the use of nuclear weapons. More war is not the answer. In April 1982 the ‘Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues’ – also known as the ‘Palme Commission’ – introduced the idea that “States can no longer seek security at each other’s expense; it can be obtained only through cooperative undertakings”. This concept of ‘common security’ is needed now more than ever as we face together the existential threats of climate change and nuclear war.

Furthermore, IPB calls on the UN Security Council to condemn the aggression of the U.S. IPB also urges the EU to refuse to support any war, to declare it is against any military attack on Iran and not to allow the U.S. to use military facilities and military bases on the territory of EU Member States.

It is time for action by the peace movement! Let us unite despite any political or social borders to avoid this disastrous war!

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