Mahathir Mohamad. Picture: REUTERS
Mahathir Mohamad. Picture: REUTERS

Kuala Lumpur — Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has drawn parallels between the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident and columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Both killings took place “across boundaries”, were in breach of laws and constituted immoral acts, Mahathir told a press conference in the administrative capital of Putrajaya on Tuesday. “We are no longer safe now,” he said. “If anybody insults or says something that somebody doesn’t like it’s alright for that person from another country to send a drone and perhaps have a shot at me.”

Mahathir warned that the US strike outside Baghdad’s airport could lead to escalating terrorism. Still, he stopped short of calling on Muslim nations to unite over the killing.

“We find that such action can be taken by this very powerful gentleman against the laws of this country, against the laws of the world,” Mahathir said. “And at this moment we can do nothing about it.”

Soleimani died along with a local Iraqi militia leader in Friday’s drone strike, which followed attacks on a US military base in Iraq and the US embassy in Baghdad by forces the US says were directed by Iran.

Khashoggi was murdered at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul. A report by the UN special rapporteur Agnès Callamard found Saudi agents were recorded discussing how to dismember Khashoggi’s body several minutes before he entered the consulate.