NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has briefed media after a meeting of the alliance’s ambassadors about the security situation in the Middle East.
NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, disclosed on Monday that the body was solidly behind the United States in the Middle East.
Speaking after a NATO meeting on Iran and Iraq, Stoltenberg called for a de-escalation of tensions, echoing the statements of some European leaders.
“We are united in condemning Iran’s support of a variety of different terrorist groups,” Stoltenberg said.
“At the meeting today, allies called for restraint and de-escalation. A new conflict would be in no one’s interest. So, Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations,” he added.
The NATO Iraq mission, made up of several hundred trainers, advisers and support staff from both countries of the 29-member alliance and non-NATO partner countries, includes military and civilian personnel.
NATO forces have suspended training operations for security reasons on Saturday. Iraqi lawmakers have requested foreign troops to leave the country.
However, Iran’s UN ambassador is urging the UN Security Council to condemn what Tehran calls “a criminal act” of “state terrorism” by the United States that led to “the horrific assassination” of the country’s top military commander.
Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi says Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani played a significant role in helping some countries in combatting and defeating the most dangerous terrorist groups, including the Islamic State.
In letters sent on Friday to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council president, Ravanchi says the U.S. airstrike targeting Soleimani “clearly invalidates the claim of the United States that it is fighting terrorism.”