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Iran issues warrant for Trump over Soleimani airstrike

June 29, 2020

Prosecutors urged Interpol to put out a "red notice" for US President Donald Trump over the deadly airstrike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Iran has pledged to pursue the matter even after Trump leaves office.

 Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleiman
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader

US President Donald Trump and 35 others face "terrorism and murder charges" in Iran, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday, adding that Iranian authorities had already issued an arrest warrant against the US leader.

Iran has also asked Interpol, the French-based global police agency, for help in acquiring the politician.

Alqasimehr said Interpol was asked to put out a "red notice" on Trump and the other defendants. The notice is the highest level arrest request that Interpol can proclaim, although only authorities of individual countries can actually arrest suspects.

Iran wants to put Trump and other US military and civilian officials on trial for killing Iran's key general Qassem Soleimani in January.  The US officials assassinated Soleimani in air strike near Baghdad, with Iraqi militia head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also losing his life. The strike put the region on the brink of war.

No politics for Interpol?

It remains very unlikely that Interpol would agree to assist Iran in delivering Trump. The international organization follows guidelines which forbid it from "undertaking any intervention or activities of a political" nature.

However, Iran's Alqasimehr said Iran would continue to pursue Trump's prosecution even after his presidency. Trump is up for reelection in November.

The US strike on Soleimani caused outrage in Iraq and Iran and prompted Tehran to fire missiles on US targets in Iraq several days later. Iranian military also shot down a civilian airliner with 176 people on board hours after firing rockets towards US bases, apparently mistakenly identifying the airliner it as a cruise missile.

Earlier this month, Iran sentenced a man to death after accusing him of giving the US and Israel information on Soleimani's movements.

 dj/rs (AP, Reuters)