“Stop escalation,” urges UN chief ANTONIÓ GUTERRES as geopolitical tensions reach ‘highest level this century’


Iranians flood streets across the nation for Soleimani’s funeral, show of solidarity, reverance for a ‘martyr’ as United Nations Secretary General   urges maximum restraint and the renewal of international cooperation…by CRIMSON TAZVINZWA

The head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force has emerged from a lifetime in the shadows to achieve almost celebrity status in Iran, reports BBC Persian’s Bozorgmehr Sharafedin.

UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres started off the year with a warning about the geopolitical tensions, which he said are at their “highest level this century” and continuing to escalate.

“Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted. This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation,” Guterres said.

  • Top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani will be buried in his hometown of Kerman this week after a three-day, multi-city funeral procession after his assassination by US drone.
  • More than a million people flooded the streets across four cities, with crowding getting so bad that dozens of people died in a stampede on Tuesday.
  • Top Iranian leaders including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani also publicly paid their respects.
  • The grandeur of Soleimani’s funeral highlights his hero status in the country, and gives a glimpse of how hard Iran is willing to strike back against the US.
  • On Tuesday Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s security chief, said the country had drawn up 13 options for retaliation against the US, and even the weakest one would be a “historic nightmare.”

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to de-escalate geopolitical tensions on Monday, which he described as being “at their highest level this century” as the new decade dawns.