Iran’s chief prosecutor in Tehran, Ali Alqasimehr, has issued an arrest warrant for President Donald Trump and thirty-five other, as yet unnamed, Americans for the January 2, 2020, killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Via BBC: Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Mr Trump and 35 others faced murder and terrorism charges, and that …
Iran’s chief prosecutor in Tehran, Ali Alqasimehr, has issued an arrest warrant for President Donald Trump and thirty-five other, as yet unnamed, Americans for the January 2, 2020, killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Via BBC:
Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Mr Trump and 35 others faced murder and terrorism charges, and that Interpol had been asked to help detain them.
However, Interpol said it would not consider the Iranian request.
The US special representative for Iran said the warrant was a propaganda stunt that nobody would take seriously.
Tehran's Prosecutor General just filed an @INTERPOL_HQ Red Notice arrest warrant request for @realDonaldTrump for the missile strike that killed Iran regime's top terrorist general Qassem Soleimani.— M. Hanif Jazayeri (@HanifJazayeri) June 29, 2020
Why exactly is the world's No.1 state sponsor of terrorism a member of INTERPOL? pic.twitter.com/pKN16SyLuc
Soleimani managed and directed the various Iranian proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen and his death and he was instrumental in helping Iraqi and Afghan insurgents kill Americans. His reign of fun and games ended on a highway outside Baghdad International Airport when an aptly named Hellfire missile left nothing but hair, teeth and eyeballs of the debonair terrorist.
While Interpol is not honoring Iran’s ‘Red Notice,’ one has to consider that Iran anticipated that and it is not playing to an American audience so the fact that we perceive it as the US Iran envoy Brian Hook described it as a “propaganda stunt,” others will not. I think the message is aimed at much more of a regional audience and this Twitter thread, though it sounds ridiculous to us, sums up the Iranian propaganda objective as viewed by people and nations who tend to trust Iran more than they trust the US:
2. On the other hand, by appealing to bodies like the ICJ, the IAEA, and Interpol, the Iranian state is actually *validating* the role of these institutions. If we want legal solutions to regional problems, such an appeal to Interpol should actually be a reassuring sign.— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) June 29, 2020
6. In short, there is more thinking behind the Interpol move than it might seem. Though it might pick and choose which rules to follow (as most states do), Iranian authorities *still* believe that some sort of rules-based order ought to be in place. That's a good thing.— Esfandyar Batmanghelidj (@yarbatman) June 29, 2020
There is also a very practical impact on the thirty-five people not named Donald Trump in the indictment. This arrest warrant could serve to limit their ability to serve in US military and intelligence organizations because they can’t be sent into a country that has ‘normal’ ties to Iran without fear of arrest. This is not a trivial risk. Former CIA agent Sabrina De Sousa and twenty-five other CIA agents were convicted in absentia by an Italian court in 2006 for their role in the extraordinary rendition of al Qaeda affiliated cleric Abu Omar. She was arrested in Portugal and extradited to Italy.
If Iran wants to play this game, then we need to demonstrate to them that it works both ways. We need to start indicting Iranian officials for their violations of American law–and the military leadership for violations of the generally recognized laws of war–and show them that the legal reach of a real country, like the United States, is substantial and that no one is going to call what we do a ‘propaganda stunt.’