The United States lashed out on Wednesday at a United Nations probe into the American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general, saying it gave "a pass to terrorists". US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran's General Qassem Soleimani in a January attack near Baghdad's international airport. The incident stoked fears of an all-out conflict between Iran and the US. The US air raid that killed Soleimani and others in his convoy was "unlawful" and an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter, the UN expert on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, concluded in a report on Tuesday. She said the US provided no evidence "an imminent attack" against American interests was being planned and, therefore, its "self-defence" justification did not apply.
The US drone strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani was "unlawful", the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump ordered the killing in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport. Soleimani was "the world's top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time. Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack. Callamard concluded that it was an "arbitrary killing" that violated the UN charter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seized on a U.N. report confirming Iranian weapons were used to attack Saudi Arabia in September and were part of an arms shipment seized months ago off Yemen's coast; State Department correspondent Rich Edson reports. A fire and an explosion struck a centrifuge production plant above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday, analysts said, one of the most-tightly guarded sites in all of the Islamic Republic after earlier acts of sabotage there. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to downplay the fire, calling it an "incident" that only affected an under-construction "industrial shed," spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. However, both Kamalvandi and Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi rushed after the fire to Natanz, a facility earlier targeted by the Stuxnet computer virus and built underground to withstand enemy airstrikes. The fire threatened to rekindle wider tensions across the Middle East, similar to the escalation in January after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran launched a retaliatory ballistic missile attack targeting American forces in Iraq. While offering no cause for Thursday's blaze, Iran's state-run IRNA news agency published a commentary addressing the possibility of sabotage by enemy nations such as Israel and the U.S. following other recent explosions in the country.
On June 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's address to the UN Security Council calling for an arms embargo on Iran to be extended was expected to dominate the international news agenda. However, Iran's judiciary stole the morning's headlines by issuing an arrest warrant for Donald Trump the day before. Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday that Trump, along with more than 30 others accused of involvement in the January 3 drone attack that killed Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, face "murder and terrorism charges". The prosecutor added that Tehran asked Interpol for help in detaining the US president. The same day, the US special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, denounced the warrant as a "propaganda stunt" at a press conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly said Monday. Interpol later said it wouldn't consider Iran's request, meaning Trump faces no danger of arrest. However, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and 35 others whom Iran accuses of involvement in the Jan. 3 strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad face "murder and terrorism charges," the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed that Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.
Former CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman speaks out. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press conference on Wednesday that if the U.N. Security Council doesn't agree to extend the arms embargo against Iran, then the U.S. will seek to "snap back" multilateral sanctions on the regime. Pompeo made the remarks ahead of a briefing by U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook to the Security Council on why the arms embargo should be extended, citing Iran's behavior since the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal, including a drone attack on Saudi Arabia in 2019. "Without action, on the 18th of [October], Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapon systems and become the arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world. This is unacceptable," Pompeo said Wednesday. He quoted former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who each made comments that if the U.S. was not satisfied with how the deal was working out, that it could unilaterally reimpose the sanctions that were previously on the Iranian regime.
Paolo Pirjanian is an Armenia born in Iran and fled to Denmark as a teen. From the time he was young, he was fascinated by computers and started coding in his bedroom. After getting his PhD in robotics, Paolo became an early leader in the field of consumer robotics who has 16 years of experience developing and commercializing cutting-edge home robots. He worked at NASA JPL and led world-class teams and companies at iRobot, Evolution Robotics, and others. In 2016, Paolo founded Embodied, Inc. with the vision to build socially and emotionally intelligent digital companions that improve care and wellness and support people in living better lives every day.