On January 5th, Iran issued a “red notice” request to Interpol for the arrest of US President Donald Trump and 47 other US officials.
Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced during a press conference that Iran has requested the international police organization to arrest Trump and 47 other American officials identified as playing a role in the assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani on January 3rd, 2020 by a US drone strike.
“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 said.
The assassination was deemed to be against international law by Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
“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.”
In June, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr issued an arrest warrant for Trump and dozens of US officials saying they face “murder and terrorism charges”.
Interpol, which is based in France, rejected Iran’s request, saying its constitution forbids it from undertaking “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.
In a ceremony in Tehran to mark Soleimani’s assassination anniversary, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said Trump was a main target of prosecution and should not be immune because of his political status.
“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,” he said.
“Trump will have to pay back, whatever his position,” Ebrahim Raisi said, as Iran marked the anniversary of Soleimani’s killing.
“Whether he heads the U.S. administration or not, Trump should face retribution for the atrocity he has perpetrated,” Raisi said.
The spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Ali Kadkhodaei said Trump’s legal immunity as head of state is problematic for legally pursuing him, but “some international experts hold the view that after Trump’s presidency is over this might be possible”.
An Interpol red notice is a request to law enforcement agencies worldwide to help find and arrest fugitives who are wanted either for prosecution of a crime or to serve a prison sentence.
Interpol’s General Secretariat commented that according to the international police body’s constitution, “it is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
However, after January 20th, Trump is no longer US President.
The US in recent weeks has flown B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf and sent a nuclear-powered submarine into the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump also overruled the Pentagon and ordered the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to remain in the region because of the threats.
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- Iran Uses Its Grip On Strait Of Hormuz To Fight Back US-imposed Sanctions
- Iran To Begin Enriching Uranium Up To 20%, As Soleimani Killing Anniversary Nears