WASHINGTON – In response to reports of Qassem Soleimani’s death as a result of airstrikes in Iraq, Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), released the following statement:
“The last thing the world needs is yet another disastrous American military adventure in the Middle East. The assassination of IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani is a profoundly reckless move that will be viewed as an act of war in Tehran. The most aggressive hardline elements inside Iran have just been given a massive opening to consolidate influence internally and respond violently externally.
“Iran is a nation of 80 million innocent people, most of whom do not want war and oppose the actions of their own government. Similarly, Iraq is a nation of 38 million who deserve peace after lives filled with war. And the American people have seen enough of wars in the Middle East that have no end, only new beginnings. Yet many thousands of innocents in each country will be the victims of a conflict that will be difficult to confine within any one nation’s borders.
“There is no Congressional authorization for a war with Iran, and the legal authority for this assassination on Iraqi soil is dubious at best. Soleimani himself has blood on his hands, yet that is neither an authorization for a war nor a just cause for starting one. Moreover, there is a fierce nationalist streak in Iranian politics, and Soleimani himself polled as one of the most popular figures within his country.
“We call yet again on leaders in Washington and Tehran to halt the escalation spiral, invite in intermediaries and negotiate their differences before it is too late and a regional war is upon us. There is no singular decision that necessitates a bloody and costly war that will have no victors. Millions across the region are praying and hoping that this reckless assassination does not open pandora’s gate.”