On the TV program Op1, Dutch Defense Minister, Bijleveld, says she understands why the US killed Soleimani and nodded to the awful atrocities Iran is responsible for, NOS reports. Nonetheless, the Netherlands, as a member of NATO, is focussed on de-escalation.
“A real crook”
Bijleveld described Soleimani as “a real crook” and discussed his involvement in the war in Syria as commander of the Quds Force.
But she went on to acknowledge that the assassination of the leader created “a very fragile situation” and emphasised that NATO members are well aware of the potential retaliation from Iran.
En morgen mogen de medewerkers van Nederlandse ambassades wereldwijd weer naar hun collega's met de stichtelijke boodschap dat Nederland staat voor een internationale orde gebaseerd op regels en recht. Godgeklaagde hypocrisie. Totale shit. https://t.co/SWd7z2Zuly
— Thijs Kleinpaste (@KleinpasteThijs) January 7, 2020
Must focus on de-escalation
However, the minister said the Dutch government are focussed on de-escalation. Bijleveld referred to statements made by Stoltenberg, the secretary of NATO, who also stressed the drone strike was a decision made solely by the US and is not endorsed by NATO.
The Netherlands wants explanation from United States Government
Bijleveld believes the Netherlands and other countries should have been informed of the attack before it happened.
The Netherlands wants the United States to provide a “legal basis” for such a major decision. The US claim the attack on the Iranian general was “self-defense”.
In a letter sent to the House of Representatives, the cabinet says the Netherlands “will underline Iran’s negative influence on regional stability and point out the importance of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” during the upcoming meeting between EU foreign leaders scheduled for Friday.
The training mission of Dutch soldiers in Iraq has also been stopped due to tensions in the region.
Feature image: U.S. Secretary of Defense/ Flickr