New Delhi: Slain Iran army top commander contributed to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London, said US President Donald Trump in his address after Qassem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike in Baghdad on Friday.

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him. Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you; we will eliminate you. We will always protect our diplomats, service members, all Americans, and our allies,” Trump said.

For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its ruthless Quds Force — under Soleimani’s leadership — has targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen, he said adding that the recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani.

“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved,” he said.

“We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war,” Trump said.

“I have a deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people, with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change. However, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbours, must end, and it must end now. The future belongs to the people of Iran — those who seek peaceful coexistence and cooperation — not the terrorist warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad,” Trump said.