Qasem was an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and, from 1998 until his death in 2020, commander of its Quds Force, a division primarily responsible for extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. In his later years, he was considered the second most powerful person in Iran behind Ayatollah Khamenei and his right-hand man.
President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike for the killing of general Qassem Soleimani on January 3 near Baghdad international airport, triggering hate between the US and Iran, but in the aftermath, the US has struggled to explain and justify why it had the infamous leader was killed.
Soleimani, the former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, was killed in the early morning on Friday, January 3 in Baghdad, Iraq. The strike sparked rage in Iraq against the US and led the Iranians to retaliate with a missile attack on the US and coalition forces, and as tensions skyrocketed, a Ukrainian passenger jet was shot down, killing all 176 people on board.
The killing of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, provoked massive outpourings of grief at home.
Trump administration tried to justify Soleimani’s killing
Hours after the strike, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that he cannot talk much about the nature of the threats, but said that the American people should know that President Trump‘s decision to remove Qassem Soleimani from the battlefield saved American lives.
International Law says that it relates to self-defense, setting forth that striking an enemy to prevent any future attack is lawful or judicial when that predetermined attack is thought to be ‘imminent‘, the use of the word ‘imminent‘ is key, in layman, happening or about to happen.
Later on January 3rd, Trump told reporters that Soleimani was anticipating imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel but he found him under the spotlight and terminated him right then.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump
Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Donald 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.
Soleimani died in a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport ordered by POTUS Donald Trump, who said the general was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops and was planning imminent attacks.
Iran retaliated by firing ballistic missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US forces.
This includes political and military officials from the US as well as other countries, for whom the judiciary has issued arrest warrants and the Interpol has issued Red Notices.
What is Interpol Red Notice?
An Interpol Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is not an international arrest warrant.
US special representative Brian Hook said: “Our assessment is that Interpol does not intervene and issue Red Notices that are based on a political nature.”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.”
Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, subsequently told the BBC that it would not consider the Iranian request for help. Under its constitution, it was “strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”, it said.
Analysts say the issuing of the arrest warrant is little more than a symbolic gesture by Iran, but that it reflects the depth of strong hostility felt towards President Trump.