Iran has issued an arrest warrant for President Trump and 35 others involved in a drone attack that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad this year, asking for international help in detention, according to Iranian news reports.
Tehran’s chief prosecutor, Ali al-Qasimehr, said in the reports that the wanted people were involved in “leading the attack” Gene. Qassim Suleimanikilled on January 3 with other Iranian and Iraqi officials at Baghdad Airport.
The comments came during a meeting with judicial officials, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency, and Mr. al-Qasimehr added that Iran intends to continue prosecuting Mr. Trump after his term as president.
No information was immediately available about the other people Iran was looking for, but the ISNA report found that “the judicial authorities ordered warrants for them and ordered an alarm from the international police.” An application for cooperation was also submitted to Interpol, an international police organization that includes both the United States and Iran.
Interpol said in an emailed statement that the organization, under its constitution, is strictly prohibited from carrying out interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racist character.
“If or if such requests were sent to the General Secretariat in accordance with our constitution and our rules, Interpol would not consider requests of this kind,” the statement says, although they are not specifically concerned with the Iranian request.
While the organization is responsible for coordinating international police efforts, it has no power to arrest or force nations to arrest people on behalf of other governments.
The organization’s “red alerts” are not warrants. According to Interpol, they are sent as “a request to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and temporarily arrest a person until they are extradited, surrendered, or similar legal action is taken.”
General Suleimani, was a powerful Iranian commander killed in an American drone attack at Baghdad Airport in January, increasing tensions between the United States and Iran and almost waging war.
Sanam Vakil, a researcher on Iran at Chatham House, a London-based research institute, said it was not surprising that Iran had taken the largely symbolic step of demanding arrest warrants and that General Suleimani’s murder had become part of Iran’s “Story of US Injustice”.
“You haven’t forgotten January 3rd, and Suleimani is a really important figure within the conservative establishment and really within the wider population,” said Ms. Vakil. “So if you are able to symbolically push back with international agencies, there could be a subtle message that this won’t go away.”
And while tensions between the two nations have not been in the headlines for months, they continue to simmer. Much of the current hostility stems from the Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (J.C.P.O.A.), which has practically collapsed in the two years since President Trump abruptly announced the withdrawal of the United States from the groundbreaking agreement.
Since then, Iran has withdrawn some of its commitments from the original agreement, although the other signatories have tried to save it. The United States, in turn, reintroduced sanctions and this month distributed a draft resolution to maintain the United Nations Security Council arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened last week to impose further United Nations sanctions if the The embargo has not been extended indefinitely, which further increases tensions.
“With this in mind, pressure is likely to increase in Iran not to drop the ball when responding to Suleimani’s death,” said Ms. Vakil. Despite retaliation against American bases in Iraq Shortly after the general strike, “Iran is still looking for some form of retribution,” she said.
The strike was over ordered by Mr. Trumpwho said it was done to prevent an impending attack on American interests, but the United States has provided no evidence of it in the months since the attack.
The Pentagon also defended the murder of General Suleimani, who had planned to attack American diplomats and service members, including a fatal attack on an Iraqi military base last December that killed an American contractor.
Rights groups and international law experts have raised the question of whether targeted drone murders such as those of General Suleimani and others by the United States constitute a war crime or extrajudicial execution that are international law crimes.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, This question was raised in an article on JustSecurity.org shortly after General Suleimani’s death. In her analysis, she argued that the fatal strike was “most likely a violation of US obligations” under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and a violation of the international human rights law.