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Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump, 35 others, over Soleimani killing; asks Interpol to enforce it

US President Donald Trump and Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (Sayyed Shahab-o-din Vajedi / Released)
June 29, 2020

Iran has issued arrest warrants on Monday for 36 individuals involved in the January U.S. strike against Iran Quds Force leader Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The top name on that list is President Donald Trump.

The Iranian state-media outlet Fars News first reported the arrest warrants for Trump and the 35 other individuals on Monday, based on a statement by Prosecutor-General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr. He said the Iranian government is charging the 36 individuals on the list with murder and terrorism.

“36 individuals who have been involved or ordered the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including the political and military officials of the US and other governments, have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued for them by the judiciary officials and red alerts have also been issued for them via the Interpol,” Mehr said.

The other 35 individuals on Iran’s list were not named.

Mehr said Iran intends to enact its prosecution against Trump once his presidency concludes and he steps down from office.

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Mehr’s comments referenced Interpol “red alerts,” suggesting the international policing organization would help carry out the arrest.

A U.S. Department of Justice FAQ page regarding Interpol acknowledges the U.S. partnership in the international policing organization but said, “Once published by INTERPOL, each member country determines what effect to give a Notice within its jurisdiction according to its national law and practice.

“The United States does not consider a Red Notice alone to be a sufficient basis for the arrest of a subject because it does not meet the requirements for arrest under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.”

Soleimani was killed by a drone strike while traveling in Baghdad, Iraq. He was among five Iranians and five Iraqi militants killed in the strike, including the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The PMF is a group of several Iraqi militias, many of which are Shia Muslim and pro-Iranian in nature.

The strike that killed Soleimani and Muhandis came just days after pro-Iranian militias formed crowds around the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and attempted to storm the diplomatic compound, forcing the U.S. to scale up security measures.

Following the strike on Soleimani, Trump suggested the Iranian Quds Force commander was plotting to bomb the Baghdad embassy.

“We took him out. We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy,” Trump said in January. “I think it was obvious. And he had more than that particular embassy in mind.”

Iran has tried various other efforts to retaliate against the U.S. for the strike on Soleimani. In the days following the strike on Soleimani, Iran’s parliament passed a measure to designate the entire U.S. military and Pentagon as terrorist organizations. Later that same month, an Iranian Judiciary spokesman also indicated plans to sue Trump and the U.S. military at The Hague International Criminal Court of Justice.