An arrest warrant has been issued for president Donald Trump in connection with the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
The warrant was given the stamp of approval on Thursday, January 7th by a judge presiding over Baghdad’s investigative court, which was tasked with probing the drone strike that killed Soleimani and Abdu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.
The two were assassinated via Drone Strike outside of Baghdad International Airport, early last January. Soleimani’s body was identified only from a ring he wore. When Soleimani was killed, he was delivering Iran’s response to a letter sent from Iraq on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Soleimani was delivering the letter as to ease tension between the two countries.
Soleimani’s assassination “came at direction of the president”, according to the US Defense Department. Following the assassination, Trump tweeted a photo of a lone American flag, a shocking display of insensitivity and one upsmanship. At a fundraising dinner in Florida, he described the operation as taking out “two for the price of one.”
Trump described Soleimani as a “noted terrorist” who “was supposed to be in his country,” but didn’t describe an “imminent threat”, the justification used by Trump Administration officials.
The strike was never approved by congress, nor by the Iraqi government. The Trump Administration claimed it was authorized to perform the assassination under the 2002 Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq.
However, Eliot Engel, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated “The 2002 authorization was passed to deal with Saddam Hussein. This law had nothing to do with Iran or Iranian Government officials in Iraq. To suggest that 18 years later this authorization could justify killing an Iranian official stretches the law far beyond anything Congress ever intended.”
“After the completion of the preliminary investigation procedures, the judge decided to issue an arrest warrant for the outgoing President of the United States of America, Donald Trump,” A statement by the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq read.
“The investigation procedures will continue to find out the other participants in the implementation of this crime, whether they are Iraqis or foreigners,” the statement added.
Tehran attorney general Ali Alqasi Mehr said Trump would be prosecuted after his term ends.
SOURCE: CNN, THE GUARDIAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS, NEW YORK TIMES, CBS, TEHRAN TIMES, FAR NEWS AGENCY