The Iranian government on Tuesday issued a "red notice" request urging the International Criminal Police Organization to arrest U.S. President Donald Trump and 47 other American officials for their role in the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani just over a year ago, a killing that nearly sparked an all-out war between the two nations.
"Fortunately, Trump's presidency has ended. But even if his term hadn't ended, it would be unacceptable to say someone shouldn't be accountable to law due to his administrative position."
—Ebrahim Raisi, chief justice of Iranian judiciary
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is very seriously following up on pursuing and punishing those who ordered and executed this crime," Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesperson for the Iranian judiciary, told reporters Tuesday.
Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, was among the experts who argued the Trump-ordered assassination of Soleimani last January was a violation of international law.
"Major General Soleimani was in charge of Iran military strategy, and actions, in Syria and Iraq," Callamard wrote in a July report. "But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the U.S. was unlawful."
Tuesday's demand marked the second time the Iranian government has called on Interpol to arrest Trump and other U.S. officials over the Soleimani assassination. In June, as Common Dreams reported, Iran requested an international arrest warrant for Trump and dozens of U.S. officials who Tehran said were guilty of "murder and terrorism." Interpol, which is based in France, rejected the request.
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Tehran's latest demand came as tensions between the U.S. and Iran are rising once again thanks to Trump's recent militaristic rhetoric and actions during his final days in power.
"Fortunately, Trump's presidency has ended," Ebrahim Raisi, chief justice of the Iranian judicial system, said at a ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of the Soleimani killing. "But even if his term hadn't ended, it would be unacceptable to say someone shouldn't be accountable to law due to his administrative position."
As Common Dreams reported Monday, experts are growing increasingly concerned that Trump could launch a military attack on Iran as he continues to lash out in the wake of his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
"War with Iran could be Trump's final punishment on the American people for rejecting him and a massive act of sabotage against Biden for defeating him," Sina Toossi, senior research analyst at the National Iranian American Council, warned last week.