Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met the ambassadors of the United States and Iran separately in Jakarta on Monday to express concerns over escalating tension between the two countries after US President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iran's most powerful general Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad on Friday.
Retno met Iranian Ambassador Valiollah Mohammadi Nasrabadi and US Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan at the Foreign Affairs Ministry headquarters on Monday afternoon, both times conveying Indonesia's concerns over the latest developments in the Middle East after the assassination of Suleimani, the second most powerful man in Iran after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Suleimani was the commander of the elite Quds Force, the external wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
The Quds Force had been designated a terrorist organization by the US and several other countries, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Suleimani was a supporter of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and worked with Russia to combat Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
He had also armed Kurdish forces in Iraq and led a combined force of Iraqi government troops and Shi'ite militias to fight IS.
Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei declared three days of mourning for "the great martyr commander General Qassem Suleimani and accompanying martyrs" in a statement released by the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta on Friday.
The US airstrike also killed Mahdi al-Muhandis, the de facto leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces and a close Suleimani associate.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will expend all its political, legal and international powers to avenge this evil terror. Iran will not be provoked by the current developments and will take its revenge at a time and place of its own choosing," the Iranian Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement on Monday evening.
The embassy said the Trump-ordered airstrike went against US commitment to fight terrorism since it was directed at individuals who had spent their careers combating terrorist groups.
"The death of martyr Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani will not stop the fight against terrorism and extremism in the Middle East but will make it even stronger globally," the embassy stated.
The Indonesian government on Saturday issued a warning for its citizens in Iraq to exercise caution. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, there are 864 Indonesians living in Iraq at the moment.
"Indonesia hopes that all related parties exercise maximum restraint so as to prevent further escalation. Escalation will benefit no one. Furthermore, it may lead to potential repercussions on the global economy," Retno tweeted after meeting the ambassadors.
Indonesia hopes that all related parties exercise maximum restraint so as to prevent further escalation.— Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia (@Menlu_RI) January 6, 2020
Escalation will benefit no one. Furthermore, it may lead to potential repercussions on the global economy.