Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed condolences in connection with the killing of Qasem Soleimani and said the US strike violated international laws in a Saturday phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, according to a readout posted by the Russian ministry. 

The phone call was initiated by the Iranian side. 

“Sergey Lavrov expressed his condolences with regards to the assassination the commander of IRGC’s Quds Special Forces Qasem Soleimani by US in Baghdad,” the statement reads.“Both ministers have emphasized that US actions are in gross violation of fundamental international laws and do not contribute to finding solutions to the complex problems that have accumulated in the Middle East, but lead to a new round of escalation of tensions in the region.”

Some context: On Friday, Lavrov said in a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US act “deserves condemnation” and urged Washington “to abandon illegal power methods to achieve its goals on the international arena.”

France, Germany and China call on Iran to preserve nuclear deal and not violate it 

Donald Trump
If Iran is at fault, and Trump does nothing, he will look like a paper tiger who makes toothless military threats. Such an outcome would embolden Iran and suggest that behavior that holds the global economy hostage will be met with impunity.

France, Germany and China have called on Iran to preserve the nuclear deal and to avoid any measure that would violate it, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement today after a phone call with his counterparts.

Le Drian spoke to Germany’s Heiko Maas and China’s Wang Yi in separate phone calls on Saturday.

The French Foreign Minister said France and Germany “fully shared the central objective of de-escalation and preservation of the Vienna accord [JCPOA]”. 

Le Drian also spoke of a “great convergence” between China and France to reinforce efforts towards de-escalation. He said both countries agreed Iraq’s stability and sovereignty should be preserved and called on Iran to “avoid any measure that would violate the Vienna accord.”

Some background: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the nuclear deal, was reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015. France, Germany and China are all parties to the deal, along with Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The United States announced its withdrawal on May 8, 2018.

Iranian supreme leader to Soleimani’s daughter: “Everyone is bereaved and grateful to your father”

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited Qasem Soleimani‘s daughter following the death of her father Friday in a US airstrike.

In a tweet today, Khamenei shared his condolences.

“Everyone is bereaved & grateful to your father. This gratitude is due to his great sincerity, since hearts are in God’s hands. Without sincerity, ppl’s hearts wouldn’t have been with him like this. May God bestow His blessings on all of us,” the tweet said.

Khamenei’s tweet addressing Soleimani’s daughter continued: “You saw people in many cities come out in numbers, with devotion. Wait to see his funeral. These blessings are before us to see the value of martyrdom. What a blessing for Hajj Qasem. He achieved his dream.”

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