Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump, requests Interpol help

TEHRAN – Iran issued an arrest warrant and requested that Interpol issue a red notice for President Donald Trump following the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani in January, the Iranian state news agency FARS reported Monday.

Ali Alghasi Mehr, Tehran’s attorney general, said arrest warrants had been ordered against 36 people who were involved in or cooperated with Soleimani’s “terror,” including the US military and politicians, the news agency reported.

A judicial official also “declared a red notice about Interpol,” Mehr added, according to the FARS.

The State Department and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump is at the top of the wanted list, according to the FARS. No other official was immediately identified.

A red notice is a request to authorities around the world to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is at the discretion of local law enforcement authorities whether to act on the notices.

When asked if Iran had requested a red notice for Trump, among others, an Interpol spokesman said in a statement sent by email that its constitution prohibits it from undertaking “any intervention or activity of a political, military, religious or racial nature.” .

The spokesman did not say whether Interpol had received Iran’s request.

The United States’ assassination of Soleimani, the high-profile commander of Iran’s secret Quds Force, on January 2, brought tensions between Tehran and Washington to a boiling point. Iran retaliated days later by firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi air bases that house US forces.

In a statement announcing Soleimani’s death in January, the Defense Department said the US military had taken “decisive defensive measures” to protect US personnel abroad.

“This attack was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” added the Defense Department. “The United States will continue to take all necessary measures to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

Trump withdrew the United States from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2018 and has imposed a wave of economic sanctions on the country’s oil industry, as well as banking and other key sectors. The 2015 nuclear deal eased United States and United Nations sanctions against Iran in exchange for the limits of Tehran’s nuclear program.

Abigail Williams and Shannon Pettypiece contributed