World cannot afford another war in Gulf: UN chief

The UN chief said this is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. "The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf," Guterres said. Photo/Reuters

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday cautioned that the world cannot afford another war in the Gulf, following the killing of Iran's top military commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

Voicing deep concern over the escalation of tensions in the Gulf, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said, "The Secretary-General has consistently advocated for de-escalation in the Gulf. He is deeply concerned with the recent escalation."

The UN chief said this is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. "The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf," Guterres said.

Tensions are escalating in the region after Suleimani, who led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad on Friday. The strike was authorised by President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted, "General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was, directly and indirectly, responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself."

"While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!" he said in the tweet.

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