Takht-Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN Friday that military action against the United States is “over for the time being.”
In his appearance on the cable news network, Takht-Ravanchi addressed President Donald Trump’s claims in a Wednesday speech that Iran was standing down, after Tuesday’s attacks against Iraqi military bases that housed American troops. “With the action that we took the other day, we concluded that phase of our military action against the U.S. forces,” the ambassador said.
Later in the interview, Takht-Ravanchi stated that while Iran was done with military action for the time being, Iran would respond if the U.S. attacked again. “When they started something like this and Iran responded proportionately, that phase was over. So, if the U.S. is going to start again, definitely we’ll have to respond,” he said.
The ambassador also said that Iran’s actions were a direct response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
“We didn’t start this episode,” he said. “It was started by assassinating a top general of the Iranian armed forces in the territory of Iraq. This is against international law; this is against the Iraqi sovereignty.”
In response to Vice PresidentMike Pence’s claimsthat Iranian forces weren’t “shooting to miss” and “intended to kill Americans” in the attack, Takht-Ravanchi said that the Iranian government was “not looking after killing Americans within this operation,” and intended to attack where Soleimani was killed.
“We chose the place where the attack against Soleimani was initiated,” Takht-Ravanchi said. “We do not consider a high number of casualties as an instrumental element in our calculations.
The ambassador also said that the attack intended to show the capabilities of the Iranian armed forces.
Takht-Ravanchi also said the Iranian government is not responsible for telling Iraqi militias not to attack U.S. forces. “It is not our job to say that this gentleman or that gentleman should do this or should not do this,” he said. “We are responsible for whatever action we take.”
The Permanent Mission of Iran did not immediately respond toNewsweek‘s request for comment.
On Thursday, Congress approved a War Powers Resolution that requires Trump to seek congressional approval before attacking Iran again.
Before the vote, Trump tweeted his disapproval of the resolution. “Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution,” he wrote.