Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Sunday claimed the United States "begged" Tehran to refrain from carrying out an retaliatory attack for its killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on January 3.
“The U.S. had sent a message to Iran via the Swiss ambassador to demand Iran not to give a response, but it was rejected immediately,” Mohsen Baharvand, Deputy FM, was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
Commenting on the recent UN report that called the Soleimani killing as unlawful, the minister added, “Condemnation of the U.S. act by Ms. Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur, an expert and an unbiased lawyer, is valuable and the report is now one of the UN documents and will remain for several decades in future.”
Following Soleimani's assasination at Baghdad International Airport, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly pledged to take "severe revenge.” Days later, Tehran’s ballistic missiles and rockets blitzed Iraq’s heavily fortified Green Zone, Ain al-Asad airbase and Erbil airbase housing hundreds of American troops.
Iran in June issued arrest warrants for 36 officials of the U.S. and other countries involved in conducting drone strikes that killed Soleimani.