Iran vows revenge for Soleimani killing if Trump not put on trial

Iran urges the United Nations Security Council to hold the United States and Israel to account for Soleimani killing



Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi delivers a speech during a ceremony in Tehran, commemorating the second anniversary of the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. — AP
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi delivers a speech during a ceremony in Tehran, commemorating the second anniversary of the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. — AP

By Reuters

Published: Mon 3 Jan 2022, 9:10 PM

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking on the second anniversary of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by the United States, said that former US President Donald Trump must face trial for the killing or Tehran would take revenge.

Iran and groups allied with it in Iraq have been holding events to honour Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards. He was killed in Iraq in a drone strike on January 3, 2020, ordered by then president Trump.

“If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge,” Raisi said in a speech on Monday.

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“The aggressor, murderer and main culprit — the then president of the United States — must be tried and judged under the (Islamic) law of retribution, and God’s ruling must be carried out against him,” Raisi added.

Under Iran’s laws, a convicted murderer can be executed unless the family of the victim agree to take “blood money” through a reconciliation.

Iranian judicial officials have communicated with authorities in nine countries after identifying 127 suspects in the case, including 74 US nationals, Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri told state television.

“The criminal former president (Trump) is at the top of the list,” he said.

On Sunday, Iran urged the United Nations Security Council in a letter to hold the United States and Israel, which Tehran says was also involved in the killing, to account, according to Iranian media.

Days after the assassination, the United States told the United Nations that the killing was self-defence and vowed to take additional action as necessary in the Middle East to protect US personnel and interests.

The then US Attorney-General William Barr said at the time that Trump clearly had the authority to kill Soleimani and the general was a “legitimate military target”.


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