An Iranian prosecutor said the country had issued an Interpol arrest warrant for United States president Donald Trump for his role in the assassination of a leading military commander, General Qassem Soleimani earlier this year.
The Tehran prosecutor, Ali Alghasimehr said the international “red alert” warrant included Mr Trump and 35 others allegedly involved in the 3 January drone strike that killed General Soleimani, commander of Iran’s clandestine overseas paramilitary force, the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Monday.
“Thirty-six people who were involved in the assassination of Hajj Qassem were identified, including political and military officials from the United States and other governments, have been ordered by the judiciary to be given a red alert to Interpol,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
There’s little chance any Interpol or any other law enforcement agency would act on the warrant, which stems from a decision by Mr Trump and hardline ideologues shaping his Iran policy to kill Soleimani outside the international airport in Baghdad.
But the stunt by Iranian authorities serves to distract attention away from the government’s failings at a crucial crossroads.
The country’s economy is in tatters because of severe US sanctions strictly constraining Iran’s ability to do business with other nations and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has drastically slowed the domestic economy. Faced with the economic meltdown, the administration of President Hassan Rouhani defied health experts and began allowing businesses to re-open, sparking a resurgence of the coronavirus.
Mr Alghasimehr did not specify of the 35 other officials that he said had been reported to Interpol. The Lyon, France-based organisation has yet to comment, and a search of its database of thousands of wanted individuals yielded no results for the name of Donald Trump.
Neither Mr Trump nor top US officials make frequent trips outside the borders of staunch longtime Western allies or authoritarian dictatorships and monarchies ruled by men the administration in Washington considers friends. Few if any law enforcement officials in those countries would act on arrest warrants that could enrage the US, which has the world’s biggest economy and its most powerful military.
But Mr Alghasimehr said Iran would pursue the warrants even after Mr Trump and his deputies leave office, potentially limiting their movements for years to come, or at least making them think twice before travelling abroad.
…With Agency Report