Brussels / NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, asked Iran on Monday to refrain from provocations or violent actions because a new conflict “wouldn’t interest anyone” after the US attack which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.
He said that the training activities of the Alliance in Iraq will resume “when the situation permits”, after an extraordinary meeting of the Alliance ambassadors held today in Brussels in the face of escalating tension between Tehran and Washington.
“At our meeting today, the allies called for restraint and moderation. A new conflict would not interest anyone. So Iran must refrain from committing more violence and provocations”, said the Norwegian politician at a press conference after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the highest decision-making body of NATO, at the ambassadorial level.
After the death of Soleimani, the Alliance decided on Saturday to suspend its training activities of the Iraqi army and security forces “temporarily” and today Stoltenberg stressed that they will resume when “possible”.
“We have suspended the training mission now because of the security situation on the ground, but we are prepared to resume training when the situation… makes that possible,” he said.
NATO’s mission in Iraq
He added that the NATO training mission in Iraq was launched at the invitation of the Arab country and that the Alliance is “in close contact” with the Iraqi authorities and government.
However, asked if NATO personnel in Iraq should leave after the Parliament of that country approved on Sunday a motion asking the government to “work to end the presence of any foreign force in the country”, Stoltenberg preferred not to speculate.
“I will not speculate more than to say that we will continue to work closely, having a close dialogue with the Iraqi Government,” he said.
Asked about the possibility that Iran’s reprisals against the United States for the death of Soleimani will lead Washington to activate NATO Article 5 on collective defence, according to which an attack against a member is an attack against the entire Alliance, Stoltenberg didn’t want to speculate either.
“The important thing now is to really try to de-escalate and avoid further growth of tensions in the region, and I think that if I start to speculate on how we will react, I will not help to de-escalate. In fact, I would do the opposite”, he said.
Concern over Iran’s “destabilizing activities”
He also stressed that the operation to kill Soleimani was taken by the United States and not by NATO or the international coalition against the Islamic State terrorist group.
“But all the allies are worried about the destabilizing activities of Iran in the region,” he added, and said the United States has informed the allies about the “fundamental reason” for killing Soleimani.
The former Norwegian Prime Minister also stressed that all members of the organization have previously criticized “Iran’s support for different terrorist groups.”
“And, of course, all the allies agree that Iran should never be able to develop nuclear weapons,” he said, after US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Tehran “will never have a nuclear weapon.”
Stoltenberg also recalled that the allies have expressed “time and again” their “concern about Iran’s missile program.” (January 6, 2020, EFE/Practica Español)
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la muerte del general iraní Qasem Soleimaní.
una petición que fue realizada por el secretario general de la OTAN.
una operación militar que fue realizada por Estados Unidos en Oriente Medio.
considera que un nuevo conflicto en Oriente Medio no beneficia a nadie.
asegura que un nuevo conflicto solo beneficiaría a Irán.
desmintió que haya aumentado la violencia y la tensión en Irán.
la muerte de Soelimaní no ha afectado en nada a las actividades de entrenamiento de la Alianza en Irak.
Stoltenberg pidió ayer que los aliados dejen de realizar sus actividades de entrenamiento.
Estados Unidos llevó a cabo una operación militar para acabar con Soleimaní.
la Alianza podría dejar de trabajar con el Gobierno iraquí esta semana.
Stoltenberg trata de evitar que aumente la tensión
se desmiente que EE.UU. pueda activar un artículo de la OTAN relacionado con la defensa colectiva.
miles de iraníes clamaron venganza contra EE.UU. en el centro de Teherán.
es posible que Soleimaní sea elevado a mártir muy pronto en Irán.
se descarta que esas exequias tuvieran lugar en la capital de Irán.