Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

An Iraqi fighter of the Hashed al-Shaabi stands in front of a banner at the site of the January 3, 2020 US drone strike on Qasem Solemani at Baghdad Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq on January 2, 2021. On January 3, Iraq marked the first anniversary of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and others in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that was authorized by U.S. President Trump. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

An Iraqi fighter of the Hashed al-Shaabi stands in front of a banner at the site of the January 3, 2020 US drone strike on Qasem Solemani at Baghdad Airport, in Baghdad, Iraq on January 2, 2021. On January 3, Iraq marked the first anniversary of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and others in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport that was authorized by U.S. President Trump. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)

Carrying Death Sentence If Convicted, Iraq Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump on Murder Charges

The U.S. president is now wanted by law enforcement in the Middle East nation for ordering the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Jon Queally

Under penalty of death if ultimately tried and convicted, an Iraqi court Thursday issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump for ordering the assassination by drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi military commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January of last year.

According to the Associated Press:

Al-Muhandis was the deputy leader of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group composed of an array of militias, including Iran-backed groups, formed to fight the Islamic State group. 

Soleimani headed the expeditionary Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

The arrest warrant was for a charge of premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty on conviction. It is unlikely to be carried out but symbolic in the waning days of Trump's presidency.

On Tuesday, as Common Dreams reported, the Iranian government issued a "red notice" demand for the Europe-based Interpol service to arrest Trump as well as 47 other U.S. officials for their role in the killing of Soleimani.

"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.

Human rights advocates worldwide and legal experts at the United Nations have maintained that the murder of Soleimani, Al-Muhandis, and others in the U.S. bombing was a clear and outrageous violation of international law.

A Thursday statement released by Iraq's Rusafa Investigative Court stated that the "judge responsible for investigating the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and his colleagues issued an arrest warrant for outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump as per article 406 of Iraqi penal code."

According to Rudaw News, Article 406 dictates that "the 'willful' killing of another person is punishable by death in many cases, including premeditated murder and the death of a public official or agent."

As the fresh arrest warrant was issued in Iraq—largely symbolic unless the soon to be ex-president decides to travel to the country in the future—Trump is also facing domestic calls for his arrest, impeachment, or ouster from office after Wednesday's assault on the U.S. Capitol by a violent right-wing mob.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·


Groups Tell UN Food Agency to Ditch 'Toxic Alliance' With Pesticide Association

"This partnership with CropLife is in direct conflict with FAO's mandate as a U.N. institution to fulfill human rights to health, adequate food, clean water and environment, and safe working conditions."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo