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Qasem Soleimani: PM 'will not lament' Iranian general's death

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said "we will not lament" Qasem Soleimani's death, describing him as "a threat to all our interests".But he called for "de-escalation from all sides" following the killing of the Iranian general in a US airstrike in Iraq on Friday.Mr Johnson's statement comes as Iraqi MPs call for foreign troops to leave.The UK has urged Iraq to allow British troops to continue the fight against the Islamic State group there.Mr Johnson said he has spoken with the leaders of France, the US and Germany following the death of the Iranian general, who spearheaded Iranian military operations in the Middle East as head of the elite Quds Force.
In his first public statement since Soleimani's death, the prime minister said Iran's top military leader had been "responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region". "Given the leading role he has played in actions that have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and western personnel, we will not lament his death," Mr Johnson said."It is clear, however, that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one's interest."
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Mr Johnson said the UK was in "close contact" with all sides to encourage de-escalation and said Parliament will be updated when it resumes sitting on Tuesday.But the killing has already raised tensions in the region, with Iran responding to the attack by announcing that it will no longer abide by the restrictions in its 2015 nuclear deal.Iraqi MPs also responded to the drone strike by passing a non-binding resolution calling for an end to the foreign military presence, backed by caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.A UK government spokesman said that coalition forces were in Iraq to protect its people and others from the Islamic State group."We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the coalition is able to continue our vital work countering this shared threat," he said.
Iraq
Boris Johnson
Islamic State group
Qasem Soleimani
Iran
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