In a truly bizarre move, Iran issued an arrest warrant to INTERPOL for 36 people allegedly involved in the assassination of Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani on January 3 in Baghdad, Iraq. President Donald Trump’s name is at the top of the list. Yet INTERPOL told PJ Media that it would not follow any such request, as it violates the constitution of the organization.
“Tehran Prosecutor General Ali Alqasi-Mehr has said that 36 individuals have been identified in connection with the U.S. assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani,” the pro-regime Tehran Times reported.
“36 individuals who cooperated, collaborated, and participated in the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including political and military authorities of the U.S. and other countries, have been identified,” Alqasi-Mehr said on Monday. According to the Times, “their arrest warrant has been issued and announced to Interpol.” Iran asked INTERPOL to issue a “Red Notice,” a request to worldwide law enforcement to locate and arrest a person.
“The prosecutor general explained that U.S. President Donald Trump is at the top of the list, and he’ll be facing prosecution even after his term as president,” the Iranian newspaper reported. The paper, which supports the Islamic Revolution, described Soleimani as a “martyr.”
Yet INTERPOL told PJ Media it would not consider such a request.
“Under Article 3 of INTERPOL’s constitution ‘it is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,'” the international law enforcement agency said. “Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat, in accordance with the provisions of our constitution and rules, INTERPOL would not consider requests of this nature.”
In other words, Iran’s move amounts to a stunt to draw attention to the Islamic Republic during these turbulent times.
Tehran has pledged that Trump will face “severe revenge” for the strike that killed Soleimani, but its ballistic missile strikes on January 8 infamously shot down a Ukrainian airliner carrying 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 7 Afghans, and 3 British citizens. Protests erupted across Iran as citizens chanted, “Death to [Supreme Leader Ayatollah] Khamenei!”
Soleimani, who orchestrated the Islamic Republic’s terrorist attacks outside of Iran’s borders, was reportedly responsible for the deaths of more than 600 U.S. soldiers. While Democrats attempted to blame Trump for the escalation of tensions in Iran, the airstrike only followed after Iran-backed Iraqi militias killed a U.S. contractor. Americans responded with rockets, and the militias responded by storming the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
According to a 2018 report, Israeli forces had the opportunity to assassinate Soleimani in 2015, but the Obama administration foiled that attack by warning Iran of the planned hit.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.