Iran has asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” and direct law enforcement agencies around the world to arrest President Trump and 47 American officials for the US drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad airport last year, according to a report on Tuesday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is very seriously following up on pursuing and punishing those who ordered and executed this crime,” Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, Al Jazeera reported.
Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani, who commanded the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolution Guard and was instrumental in the killing and wounding of thousands of US troops in the Middle East.
Interpol rejected a request in June from Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr to issue a warrant for Trump, Pentagon officials and members of the US Central Command on “murder and terrorism charges.”
The international police agency said its constitution forbids it from undertaking actions against a political figure.
“It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,” it says.
Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said Trump is a target of prosecution and will not be protected by his political status as of Jan. 20 when President-elect Joe Biden will take over the White House.
“Fortunately, Trump’s presidency has ended. But even if his term hadn’t ended, it would be unacceptable to say someone shouldn’t be accountable to law due to his administrative position,” he said.
The request for Trump’s arrest comes against the backdrop of Iran’s announcement that it will begin increasing uranium enrichment by 20 percent, its seizure of a South Korean tanker and heightened concerns about retaliation by Tehran against US interests in the Middle East for Soleimani.
The US in recent weeks has flown B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf and sent a nuclear-powered submarine into the Strait of Hormuz.
Trump also overruled the Pentagon and ordered the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to remain in the region because of the threats.