Iran requested INTERPOL to issue a Red Notice request for U.S. President Donald Trump and 47 other US officials for their roles in the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Solemani on January 3, 2020.
Gholamhossein Esmaili, the Iranian judiciary spokesman, announced the request to arrest the American officials for their role in the assassination of Qassem Solemani, coinciding with the anniversary of his death one year ago. Esmaili told reporters, “ Iran is very seriously following up on pursuing and punishing those who ordered and executed this crime.”
Esmaili said the assassination was a “terrorist crime” and that Trump is the “main culprit” in the targeted killing. However, President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper defended their decision to target the Iranian general as a strategic decision to prevent further threats. Trump formerly accused Soleimani of “plotting imminent and sinister attacks” in Iraq against American interests.
Qasem Solemani was a Major General in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—the specialized unit responsible for the group’s overseas military and clandestine operations. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike on the Baghdad International Airport. Five Iraqi nationals and four Iranian nationals were also killed in the strike, including the leader of the U.S. designated terrorist organization Kata’ib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Agnes Callamard, human rights expert and United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, deemed the assissination of the Iranian general to be against international human rights law.
Iran first requested an international arrest warrant against the U.S. president and 47 other U.S. officials last June, saying that the U.S.. strike violated Iraqi state sovereignty. INTERPOL rejected Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr’s request. According to Article 3 of INTERPOL’s constitution, “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character” are strictly forbidden.
7 months later, INTERPOL’s General Secretariat reaffirmed the June decision to reject the “red notice” to NPR, again citing Article 3 of the international police body’s Constitution.
One year after the assassination, Iranian officials promise to averge Soleimani and to continue pursuing Trump, even after he leaves the U.S. presidency on January 20, 2021.