Middle East/North Africa

Iran appeals to Interpol to issue arrest request for Trump

Iran’s government has issued an arrest warrant for President Trump over the January killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and appealed to Interpol for help in detaining Trump, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Ali Alqasimehr, a prosecutor in Tehran, said Iran has charged Trump and 30 others with murder and terrorism in connection with the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed the commander of Iran’s Quds Force in Baghdad, the AP said, citing the state-run IRNA news agency. Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else named in the warrant, but said Iran would continue pushing for Trump’s prosecution after he leaves office.

He added that Iran has asked for Interpol to issue a “red notice” for those named in the warrant, the international law enforcement agency’s highest-level request and one that local authorities typically grant. The notices do not obligate countries to make arrests or extraditions. Interpol publishes some notices but is under no legal or regulatory requirement to do so, according to the AP.

Interpol will almost certainly not grant the request due to its guidelines against “undertaking any intervention or activities of a political” nature, the AP noted.

“It’s a propaganda stunt that no one takes seriously and makes the Iranians look foolish,” Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said in a news conference in Saudi Arabia Monday, according to the AP.

The killing of Soleimani on Jan. 3 came amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran that ramped up after the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in 2018. That was followed by the downing of a U.S. drone in 2019, and a planned retaliatory strike by the U.S. that the president called off at the last moment.

The U.S. and Iran appeared poised for a wider military conflict after an Iranian missile attack on an Iraqi airbase that was housing U.S. troops. No service members were killed in the attack but scores were injured.

Tags Baghdad Donald Trump Interpol Iran Iraq missile attack Qassem Soleimani Tehran warrant

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