Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.
Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday that Trump, along with more than 30 others Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 attack that killed General Qassem Soleimani, face “murder and terrorism charges”, the media reported.
Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said in a statement that its constitution forbade it to undertake “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.
“Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat,” it added, “… Interpol would not consider requests of this nature.”
The US’s Iran envoy Brian Hook described the move as a “propaganda stunt”.
“Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue Red Notices that are based on a political nature,” Hook said at a news conference in Saudi Arabia.
“This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability … It is a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously,” he said.
Alqasimehr was also quoted as saying Iran had requested a “red notice” be put out for Trump and the others, the highest-level notice issued by Interpol, requesting that seeks the location and arrest of the individual named.
Under a red notice, local authorities make the arrests on behalf of the country that requested it. The notices cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but can put government leaders on the spot and limit suspects’ travel.
After receiving a request, Interpol meets by committee and discusses whether or not to share the information with its member states. Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website.
The US killed General Soleimani, who oversaw the Revolutionary Guard Corps’s expeditionary Quds Force, and others in the January attack near Baghdad International Airport.
The assassination came after months of incidents raising tensions between the two countries and ultimately saw Iran retaliate with a ballistic missile strike targeting American troops in Iraq.