Mandy Kloppers

Was the assassination of General Soleimani lawful?

It’s doubtful that the assassination of General Soleimani was lawful, especially considering the fact that, presently, there is no formal war declared between the United States and Iran. Soleimani has apparently been caught up in acts related to the deaths of Americans as well as those of Yemenis, Lebanese, Iraqis and Syrians.

Apparently, this strike is the most consequential this century.

Although Soleimani had been declared an enemy of the United States, there was apparently a lack of consultation when it came to making the decision to eliminate General Soleimani who was killed two days ago, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – an Iraqi-Iranian politician and military commander.

George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama both declined to take the route Trump has taken. Trump has decided to cross the line that two previous presidents feared breaching.  Two administrations sidestepped this debate when it came to Soleimani, not as much for legal or moral reasons as for strategic ones.This fear wasn’t due to America’s long standing prohibition of ‘assassination’, forged during the Cold War, but rather in response to covert CIA plots due to political differences, not wartime self defense. Despite Obama never taking that ultimate decision, his Government used the term targeted killing for strikes on terrorist leaders in overseas battlefields—arguing that they fell under a right to self-defense in an ongoing war.

The issue now though, is whether the perceived advantages of ‘removing’ General Soleimani will outweigh the risks and I sincerely fear they will not. Preemptive self-defense is never a legal justification for assassination.

It’s a very tricky situation and I don’t doubt that there must be enough evidence surrounding General Soleimani for the USA to take this drastic action, I am just unsure as to whether it was the wisest action and fear the protracted consequences that may now surface. This type of defence strike adds to global stress and anxiety, certainly not needed in an era where anxiety is at an all time high. Mental health is integral to a smooth operating society and this kind of shake up affects most people at their core. I fear that the Middle East will consider that they are now in a formal state of war against the US.

Mandy X



Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash