Boris Johnson says Iranian general was ‘threat to all our interests’

Boris Johnson has accused General Qassem Soleimani of being "a threat to all our interests" and said "we will not lament his death" as he called for de-escalation from all sides.

After speaking to US President Donald Trump on Sunday, the Prime Minister issued his first statement on the spiralling crisis in the Middle East after the US's fatal drone strike on Iran's top military leader.

Mr Johnson warned that all calls for reprisals "will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one's interest" in the wake of the killing in Baghdad on Friday.

The PM said he will be speaking to Iraq "to support peace and stability" after its parliament called for the expulsion of foreign troops, including British soldiers working against so-called Islamic State.

"General Qassem Soleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilising behaviour in the region," Mr Johnson added.

"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.

"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."

Mr Johnson, who was facing criticism for his silence while on holiday in the Caribbean during the escalating crisis, also said he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Anti-war protests
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Anti-war protests
A protest by the Stop the War Coalition against the threat of war with Iran opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, London.
Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell speaking during a protest by the Stop the War Coalition against the threat of war with Iran opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, London.
A protest by the Stop the War Coalition against the threat of war with Iran opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, London.
A protest by the Stop the War Coalition against the threat of war with Iran opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, London.
A protest by the Stop the War Coalition against the threat of war with Iran opposite Downing Street in Whitehall, London.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 04 : A demonstrator holds an effigy during an anti-war rally following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on January 04, 2020 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 04 : People take part in an anti-war rally following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on January 04, 2020 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 04 : People take part in an anti-war rally following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on January 04, 2020 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 04 : People take part in an anti-war rally following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on January 04, 2020 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 04 : Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell speaks during an anti-war rally following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani by a US airstrike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on January 04, 2020 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 4: Hundreds of people attend the protest outside Downing street against aggression by the USA against Iran on January 4, 2020 in London, England. A protest is called by the Stop The War Coalition outside Downing street to protest against the escalating conflict in the Middle East between America and Iran following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
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