Mahathir: US killing of Iran general akin to Khashoggi murder

PUTRAJAYA • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has described the killing of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani as an immoral act that is against the law and compared it to the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Tun Dr Mahathir said the United States' action was not just against the laws of the country but also against the laws of the world.

"The act is akin to the killing of (Saudi) Jamal Khashoggi, which happened across boundaries. This is also another act where one country decides on its own to kill the leaders of another country. Both are guilty of immoral acts; it is against the law," he said when commenting on the incident yesterday.

Dr Mahathir also warned of a possible escalation of "what is called terrorism", following what he described as "actions taken by this powerful gentleman", alluding to US President Donald Trump.

While China and Saudi Arabia have called for calm following the incident, analysts said the sovereign ratings of countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and Oman would be the most vulnerable to protracted and wider conflicts in the Gulf.

When asked if he would continue to voice his views on the world stage, the Malaysian Prime Minister said he would continue to "point out the truth".

"I am not worried about who is strong and who is weak. If things are not right, I think I have the right to voice it out," he said.

The killing of Maj-Gen Soleimani in a US air strike near Baghdad International Airport last Friday was done without any congressional oversight or approval. The Trump administration has not been forthcoming with information on any immediate or imminent threat to the United States.

Mr Trump has also threatened that any retaliation by Iran would see US strikes on 52 Iranian sites, including cultural centres, which international observers have noted would be a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.


Mr Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian columnist for The Washington Post who was tortured and whose body was dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct 2, 2018.

The Saudi government first denied the death, but US intelligence agencies concluded that his murder was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

On Dec 23 last year, a Saudi court issued the death penalty to five officials, with three others receiving 24-year prison sentences, while not acknowledging the Saudi Prince's role in the case.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'Mahathir: US killing of Iran general akin to Khashoggi murder'. Subscribe