Soleimani killing: Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump

It's a propaganda stunt, claims US special envoy on Iran

US President Donald Trump

TEHRAN — Iran on Monday issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump for the January drone strike that killed Gen. Qasem Soleimani, at the time the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

US special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, described the warrant as a "propaganda stunt that no one takes seriously and makes the Iranian look foolish."

Hook was addressing a joint press conference with Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir in Riyadh.

Tehran has asked the international policing organization Interpol for help in apprehending him. However, there is little chance of Interpol actually acting on that warrant, media reports said.

Ali Alqasimehr, Tehran’s prosecutor general, announced that the country has issued arrest warrants for over 30 others in the Soleimani killing case. Trump is reportedly at the top of that list of people wanted for murder and terrorism charges. Alqasimehr did not identify any of the other people who are reportedly on the list.

On January 3, Trump authorized the drone strike that killed Soleimani and 9 other people, near the Baghdad International Airport. As The New York Times later reported, Trump had been briefed by military officials about Iran allegedly sponsoring anti-US attacks in Iraq. One option that was put on the table was the targeted killing of Soleimani, reportedly the “most extreme” of the options.

However, Trump reportedly became angered by news reports of attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad by Iran-backed protesters, and ordered the killing, which purportedly “stunned” Pentagon officials. Similarly, according to a Wall Street Journal report, Trump ordered the killing in order to garner support among his Republican base, a move that took place as the impeachment proceedings against him were moving forward.

At the time, Trump tweeted that Soleimani had been responsible for thousands of American deaths.

“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people,” he wrote.

Iran, however, sees the drone strike as nothing short of a political assassination. — Agencies