An Iranian prosecutor proclaimed the country had issued an Interpol red notice arrest warrant for United States President Donald Trump for his role in the assassination of a leading military commander earlier this year.
The Tehran prosecutor Ali Alghasimehr said the international “red alert” warrant included Trump and 35 others allegedly involved in the January drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s clandestine overseas paramilitary force, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Monday.
The warrant included a total of thirty-six people who were allegedly involved in the assassination of Hajj Qassem. These individuals were identified, including political and military officials from the United States and other governments. The unknown officials with only Trump being named, have been “ordered by the judiciary to be given a red alert to Interpol,” Alghasimehr was quoted as saying by IRNA.
CNN reports that Iran stated the above 30 some individuals including Trump are accused of “murder and terrorism charges.” However, the news organization notes, “it is unlikely Interpol would grant Iran’s request as its guideline for notices forbids it from ‘undertaking any intervention or activities of a political’ nature.”
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said in a statement that its constitution forbade it to undertake “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”, Aljazeera was quoted reporting.
“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 US’s Iran envoy Brian Hook described the move as a “propaganda stunt”.
Iran’s Alqasimehr further stated that it will continue to pursue the indictment long after Trump’s presidency. Trump ordered the assassination of Qassem earlier this year killing Iran’s key general in January. U.S. officials assassinated Soleimani in an airstrike near Baghdad, at its airport with Iraqi militia head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also losing his life. The strike put the region on the brink of war for the weeks following, leaving many on the internet believing that we were headed for war.
The strike on Soleimani in January was justified by the U.S. Department of Defence as being “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The agency further added, ” Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th.”
Iran retaliated after the killing of Soleimani days later by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi airbases housing U.S. forces, NBC reported.
Trump has broad powers in matters of military conflict under the U.S. constitution. However, some experts raised questions about the legality of the strike. Trump very likely faces no danger of arrest, but the charges emphasize the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal years ago. In addition to withdrawing from the nuclear deal, Trump has imposed numerous economic sanctions on the country’s oil industry, as well as banking and other key sectors for Iran’s economy.