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Iran asks Interpol to help arrest Trump for killing general

AFP/Tehran, Iran
Filed on June 30, 2020
Iran, Interpol, killing, Major-General Qasem Soleimani, Donald Trump, arrest
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following the U.S. Military airstrike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 3, 2020.

(Reuters)

International police agency said any such intervention in the killing of Major-General Soleimani would be contrary to its constitution.

Iran said Monday it has called for Interpol to help arrest President Donald Trump and 35 other US officials for the January killing of its top general in an American drone strike.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Qasi Mehr, quoted by state news agency IRNA, said 36 US political and military officials "involved in the assassination" of Major-General Qasem Soleimani "have been investigated and were ordered to be arrested through Interpol".

"These people have been charged with murder and terrorist acts," he said.

"At the top of the list is US President Donald Trump, and his prosecution will continue even after the end of his term," said the prosecutor, referring to his bid for re-election in November.

Qasi Mehr, quoted on the judiciary's Mizan Online official website, said "the Iranian judiciary has issued arrest warrants against the 36".

He called for the international police agency Interpol to issue red notices, which are not arrest warrants but issued for those wanted for prosecution or sentencing.

Interpol, however, told AFP that any such intervention would be contrary to its constitution, without directly confirming it had been contacted by Iran.

Under Article 3 of the constitution, "it is strictly forbidden for the Organisation to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character", said the agency based in the French city of Lyon.

"Interpol would not consider requests of this nature."

Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport.

Soleimani, a national hero at home, was "the world's top terrorist" and "should have been terminated long ago", Trump said at the time.

Brian Hook, the US pointman on Iran policy, scoffed at the Iranian request to Interpol as a "propaganda stunt".

"Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue red notices that are based on a political nature," he told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

"This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability," Hook said.

"We see it for what it is. It's a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously and makes the Iranians look foolish."

The killing of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, provoked massive outpourings of grief at home.

Iran retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq, but Trump opted against responding militarily.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al Asad left no US soldiers dead, dozens suffered brain trauma.

 


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