China on Saturday said that the United States should not “abuse force” and should look for solutions through communication instead, after the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, AFP reported. The country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks during a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.
“The dangerous US military operation violates the basic norms of international relations and will aggravate regional tensions and turbulence,” Wang said, according to a statement by China’s foreign ministry. “China opposes the use of force in international relations. There is no way out for military means, nor for extreme pressure.”
United States President Donald Trump, who has defended Soleimani’s killing in an air strike by the US, warned Iran that his government was targeting “52 Iranian sites” that will be hit “very fast and very hard” if Tehran planned any attacks on Americans or Washington’s assets. The president highlighted that Soleimani had already attacked United States’ embassies and had been preparing for other attacks.
Trump on Friday had alleged that Soleimani had contributed to “terror plots as far away as New Delhi and London”. The president was referring to the attacks on Israeli diplomats in Delhi in February 2012.
However, Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni has refuted the allegations. “Mr Trump can say anything he likes, he can give any list of attacks that he likes,” he said in an interview to The Hindu. “But this is a big lie. General Soleimani was a soldier, he was not involved in the targetting of innocents anywhere.”
The envoy accused Trump of trying to cover up his administration’s killing of the top Iranian military commander who was visiting Iraq after Syria for “anti-terrorism consultations”. He claimed that Soleimani had fought against the Islamic State, Jubhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, adding that “anyone who assassinated him, is for the terrorists”. He said that if Trump had ordered the killing then the episode was “state terrorism”.