Trump said Soleimani was 'terminated' when he was on the verge of attacking US diplomats, reports AFP
Addressing the public for the first time since ordering the strike on Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani, US President Donald Trump said, from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, that the United States’ intention was to quash a war, not to begin one, reports CBS news.
"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war," he said. "We do not seek regime change."
Trump said Soleimani was "terminated" when he was on the verge of attacking US diplomats, reports AFP.
"Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him," he said in a statement.
‘US killing of Soleimani tantamount to war’
The United States' killing of Soleimani, Iran's most prominent military commander, is virtual to starting a war and "the response for a military action is a military action," Iran's UN ambassador said on Friday, reports Reuters.
In an interview with CNN, Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said by "assassinating" Soleimani, the United States had entered a new stage after starting an "economic war" by imposing tough sanctions on Iran in 2018.
"So that was a new chapter which is tantamount to opening a war against Iran," Ravanchi said.
Ravanchi, echoing Iranian leaders, said there would be harsh revenge.
Earlier on Friday, the ambassador told the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Iran reserves the right to self-defence under international law.
In a letter, Ravanchi said the killing of Soleimani "is an obvious example of State terrorism and, as a criminal act, constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including, in particular, the Charter of the United Nations."