Iranian Judiciary Tracking Down Culprits Involved in Soleimani Killing
November 27, 2020 - 22:19
TEHRAN — Iran’s Judiciary says it has formed a committee to track down those who were behind the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
“With the Judiciary chief’s order, a committee was tasked with gathering evidence, and a judicial board, led by the prosecutor and I, as the deputy prosecutor and investigator in charge of the case, began the investigation and its procedure,” Deputy Prosecutor General Seyyed Ashrafi said, IRNA reported on Friday.
Seyyed Ashrafi said Iran has provided the Interpol with the names of 45 American nationals involved in this killing, but unfortunately, the Interpol has refused to issue an international arrest warrant for them because of the current political situation.
He said some of those accused of being involved in the January assassination regularly visit neighboring countries, adding that Iran has also provided judicial representation to six of the countries where American bases are located.
“We were recently informed that the Iraqi government has prepared a response to this representation, and is submitting it through diplomatic channels,” Seyyed Ashrafi stated.
He also said Iran is also preparing a judicial representation addressed to the U.S. judicial system so as to test them and see whether they would prosecute the culprits for the charges leveled against them.
On January 3, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered drone strikes that martyred General Soleimani, chief of the IRGC Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).
In the early hours of January 8, the IRGC attacked Ain al-Assad airbase in western Iraq, where U.S. forces were stationed, as part of its promised “tough revenge” for the U.S. terror attack.
In September, IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami said the Americans should know that Iran will target whoever had a role in the cowardly assassination of General Soleimani. “This is a serious message,” Salami warned.
“These threats are serious and we’re not engaging in a war of words,” Salami said, adding, “Rather, we’ll leave everything to the field of action.”
In June, Tehran said 36 individuals were identified in connection with the Soleimani assassination.
“36 individuals who cooperated, collaborated, and participated in the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including political and military authorities of the U.S. and other countries, have been identified,” Tehran Prosecutor General Ali Alqasi-Mehr said.
Alqasi-Mehr named Trump as the key individual at the top of the list, saying his pursuit will continue even after his tenure as U.S. president.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has also said Iran will spare no efforts in bringing the culprits to justice.
“Iran, while fully adhering to the applicable provisions of international law, will spare no legal and legitimate effort in order to bring the perpetrators and accomplices of Martyr General Soleimani to justice, so that they suffer legal punishment for their action,” Khatibzadeh said on November 10.
He said based on Iran’s stance, Trump cannot enjoy presidential impunity after his term and he must be brought to justice for his crime.
“I repeat that we do not believe the perpetrators of this crime, especially Trump as the main perpetrator, can be exempted from legal prosecution, in a way that is in line with international law, by taking refuge behind the wall of immunity,” he added.