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US dismisses Iran arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing as ‘propaganda stunt’

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

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over the drone killing of its top general, Qasem Soleimani, in what a U.S. official dismissed as a “propaganda stunt.”

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29 that Trump and the others, who he said included U.S. political and military officials, face charges of “murder and terrorist acts” over the January assassination of Soleimani, who headed the Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

He claimed Iran had asked the international police organization Interpol to issue a “red notice” to arrest them for their involvement in Soleimani’s killing and that Tehran would continue to pursue Trump’s prosecution even after the end of his presidency.

In response, the U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook said Tehran was carrying out “a propaganda stunt that no one takes seriously.”

“Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue red notices that are based on a political nature,” Hook said at a June 29 press conference alongside the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs in Riyadh.

Interpol said in a statement that it does not undertake “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial character.”

“Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat,” it added, “…Interpol would not consider requests of this nature.”

The assassination of Soleimani near Baghdad’s airport brought the United States and Iran close to a military conflict after Tehran retaliated by launching a missile strike targeting U.S. forces in Iraq.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated since the U.S. withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed harsh economic sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.