US-Iran Tensions: Israel, China, Russia Pick Sides; Here's How Rest Of The World Reacted

Rest of the World News

Soleimani's killing by US airstrike propelled ripples across the world, with the global community concerned over the escalations that might head towards a war. 

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:
Soleimani

The US-Iran strains that were otherwise confined to economic sanctions and threats across the wider Middle East, dramatically skyrocketed after Pentagon killed Iran's revered and reviled military commander Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike in Iraq on January 3. The killing that occurred "at the direction" of US President Donald Trump propelled apprehensions across the globe, with the international community concerned over the escalation, that may possibly head towards a war. 

Hours after the attack, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei declared three days of mourning for Soleimani, and, threatened the US saying "a harsh retaliation is waiting." The recent developments in the Iran-US tensions play a critical point in the geopolitics of the Missle East and the world at large. 

Here's how the international community reacted: 

Iran

Citing a Revolutionary Guard statement, Iranian state television said Soleimani was “martyred” in an attack by U.S. helicopters near the airport, without elaborating. Soon after, the advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, said that the US must wait for "repercussions" for crossing the "red line." The strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the officials said. 

In strong condemnation, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the act, orchestrated by Trump, as 'international terrorism' and 'foolish escalation.' In a tweet, he said, "The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism." Javad Zarif said, "The US' act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous and a foolish escalation. The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism." 

India 

India in a statement called for calm and restraint over the prevailing situation. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) acknowledging the death of the senior Iranian official, asserted that peace, stability, and security of the region are of utmost significance to New Delhi.  It added that it is vital that the situation does not escalate further. 

Pakistan 

Ditching its neighbour, Pakistan extended its support to the US after Trump issued back-to-back threats on Twitter. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet notified that he had a conversation with Pakistani Army chief Gen Bajwa. Soleimani for the longest time had accused Islamabad of inciting separatism in Balochistan. Except for Mike Pompeo's statement, Islamabad has maintained his silence over the issue. 

READ| Donald Trump issues fresh warning to Iran; threatens to attack 'harder than ever before'

China 

Beijing urged restraint from both sides, "especially from the United States" in a statement.  Xi Jinping's government said, "We urge the relevant sides, especially the United States, to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalating tensions." Chinese Foreign Minister even told his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, "The dangerous US military operation violates the basic norms of international relations and will aggravate regional tensions and turbulence."

Afghanistan

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressed his concern over the probable rise in violence in the region after Soleimani's death. He explicitly told the US that "Afghan soil must not be used against a third country or in regional conflict."  

Saudi Arabia 

The Kingdom's de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman over a telephone conversation discussed the significance of de-escalation with the President of Iraq Barham Saleh. In the telephonic conversation, Iran's foe, Saudi Arabia told Saleh that Riyadh backs the security and stability of Iraq. 

Iraq 

Iraq's caretaker PM Adel Abdul Mahdi condemning the attack, called the Pentagon strike an "aggression" on Iraq. He further noted that this act would "spark a devastating war." Moreover, he said that the attack was a "flagrant violation of the conditions authorising the presence of US troops" in Iraq. 

Abdul Mahdi in a statement said, "The assassination of an Iraqi military commander is an aggression on Iraq as a state, government, and people. Carrying out physical liquidation operations against leading Iraqi figures or from a brotherly country on the Iraqi lands is a flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty and a dangerous escalation that triggers a destructive war in Iraq, the region and the world." 

READ| Trump orders killing of IRGC chief; Iran calls act "foolish" & threatens retaliation

Syria 

Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government in stern words condemned the killing of the top Iranian and Iraqi commanders, calling it a "cowardly aggression." Soleimani was credited in Syria for strategising in favour of President al-Assad during the civil uprising. 

Syrian Foreign Ministry official told SANA that Syria is "certain that this cowardly US aggression ... will only strengthen the determination to follow in the path of the resistance's martyred leaders." It further accused the US of resorting to "methods of criminal gangs."

Turkey 

Indirectly taking a stand over the strike, Turkish Foreign Ministry asserted that it is against 'assassination' and 'foreign interventions.'"Turkey has always been against foreign interventions, assassinations and sectarian conflicts in the region," the office of Foreign Ministry said.

Russia 

Taking a stand against the US attack on Soleimani, Moscow said that the assassination would soar tensions across West Asia. Furthermore, they expressed condolences to Iran. In a statement, Vladimir Putin's government said, "The killing of Soleimani ... was an adventurist step that will increase tensions throughout the region. Soleimani served the cause of protecting Iran's national interests with devotion. We express our sincere condolences to the Iranian people."

Israel

Trump's ardent ally in the region, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterating the words of the US said that the Western country has a right to defend itself. Issuing a statement, the PM said, "Just as Israel has the right of self-defence, the United States has exactly the same right. Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the death of American citizens and many other innocent people. He was planning more such attacks."

READ| Iran's IRGC guards paint Israel flag on shoe soles out of spite

Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokeswoman noted that the world is at a "dangerous point of escalation" and urged restraint. Berlin further notified that they were in touch with the European countries including Britain and France to calm the situation. In a statement, Germany said, "We are at a dangerous point of escalation. It is now important through prudence and restraint to contribute to de-escalation"

France

French President Emmanuel Macron in a telephonic conversation discussed to douse the tensions in the Middle East. Macron's office in a statement said, "The two presidents agreed to remain in close contact to avoid any further escalation in tensions and in order to act to ensure stability in Iraq and the broader region." He further discussed the developments with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. 

On Sunday, an ocean of supporters filled the streets of Iraq to join the funeral procession in Baghdad for Soleimani and al-Muhandis. Soleimani’s death is the latest in a series of escalating incidents traces back to President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw America from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. However, overall enmity between Iran and the US date back to its 1979 Islamic Revolution, as well as a 1953 US-backed coup in Tehran that cemented the power of its ruling Shah over an elected Prime Minister.

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