Iran issues warrant for Trump over killing of top general


  • World
  • Monday, 29 Jun 2020

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following the U.S. Military airstrike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January 3, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

(Reuters) - Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

The United States and Interpol both dismissed the idea of acting on such a warrant.

The United States killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, with a drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3. Washington accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.

Alqasimehr said the warrants had been issued on charges of murder and terrorist action. He said Iran had asked Interpol to issue a "red notice" seeking the arrest of Trump and the other individuals the Islamic Republic accuses of taking part in the killing of Soleimani.

Alqasimehr said the group included other U.S. military and civilian officials but did not provide further details.

U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook said the warrant was a "propaganda stunt" at a news conference in Saudi Arabia.

"Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue red notices ... (of) a political nature," he said.

"This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability ... It is a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously."

Interpol said in a statement that its constitution forbade it to undertake "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character".

"Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat," it added, "... Interpol would not consider requests of this nature."

Alqasimehr said Iran would continue to pursue the matter after Trump left office.

The killing of Soleimani brought the United States and Iran to the brink of armed conflict after Iran retaliated by firing missiles at American targets in Iraq several days later.

(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Additional reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai and Richard Lough in Paris; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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