Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing, seeks Interpol help
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Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing, seeks Interpol help

Tehran says US president, 30 others are wanted on ‘murder and terrorism’ charges over January drone strike that killed Quds Force’s general in Baghdad

A protester pulls a rope around the neck of a man impersonating US President Donald Trump during a rally at Azadi (Freedom) Square in celebration of the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran, February 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
A protester pulls a rope around the neck of a man impersonating US President Donald Trump during a rally at Azadi (Freedom) Square in celebration of the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran, February 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly said Monday.

While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and more than 30 others whom Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad face “murder and terrorism charges,” the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported.

Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed that Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A girl holds a poster of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani as she takes part in a anti-US protest against the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, in Lahore on January 12, 2020. (ARIF ALI / AFP)

Alqasimehr also was quoted as saying that Iran requested a “red notice” be put out for Trump and the others, which represents the highest level arrest request issued by Interpol. Local authorities end up making the arrests on behalf of the country that request it. The notices cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but can put government leaders on the spot and limit suspects’ travel.

After receiving a request, Interpol meets by committee and discusses whether or not to share the information with its member states. Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website.

It is unlikely Interpol would grant Iran’s request as its guideline for notices forbids it from “undertaking any intervention or activities of a political” nature.

The US killed Soleimani, who oversaw the Revolutionary Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, and others in the January strike near Baghdad International Airport. It came after months of incidents raising tensions between the two countries and ultimately saw Iran retaliate with a ballistic missile strike targeting American troops in Iraq.

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