Iran’s President Says ‘Main Violator and Murderer’ Trump Must Face Trial for Soleimani Assassination
19:03 GMT 03.01.2022 (Updated: 19:13 GMT 03.01.2022)
The Iranian anti-terror commander was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 January 2020. The incident brought Tehran and Washington to the brink of war, and the Islamic Republic has vowed repeatedly to avenge the crime.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for “retribution” against those responsible for Revolutionary Guard Quds Force general Qasem Soleimani’s death, emphasizing that plotters led by former US president Donald Trump must be brought to justice.
“In the face of this horrible crime, the main violator and murderer and criminal, the [former] president of the United States, must be put on trial and be punished in accordance with God’s command,” Raisi said, addressing a commemorative event in Tehran on Monday.
“Martyr Soleimani was an official guest of the Iraqi government and by assassinating him, you both violated the sovereignty of Iraq and assassinated an entire nation,” Raisi added.
The Iranian president suggested that “it would be good” if “Trump and [former Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo and other criminals face trial before a just court and their horrible crime is prosecuted and they are published for their brazen acts.”
“Otherwise I will tell all the American statesmen that have no doubt that the Ummah [Muslim World] will take revenge,” he warned.
Raisi pointed to Soleimani’s status as a “revolutionary commander belonging to no political grouping,” saying his exploits as head of the IRGC Quds Force helped to save Shia and Sunni Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and all followers of the Abrahamic religions from the scourge of terrorism.
Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, were killed in a US drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020.
The Trump administration initially claimed that Soleimani was assassinated for his suspected role in a deadly December 2019 rocket attack on a US military base in Kirkuk, Iraq, and the 31 December 2019 attempted storming of the US Embassy in Baghdad, and because he posed an “imminent threat” to US national security. Iraqi intelligence later concluded that the Kirkuk attack was likely carried out by Daesh (ISIS)*. Washington then changed its story, saying there was no specific intelligence pointing to any imminent threats from Soleimani. Later still, Trump justified the assassination in part by calling Soleimani a “noted terrorist” who was “saying bad things” about America.
The former US president and members of his staff have expressed no regrets regarding their actions, with Trump boasting last summer that he “got”
Soleimani and Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, characterizing the men as two “monsters” and boasting that they were “bigger” than late al-Qaeda* leader Osama bin Laden.
“Osama bin Laden had one hit, and it was a bad one, in New York City, the World Trade Centre. But these other two guys were monsters. They were monsters. And I kept saying for years ‘why aren’t they getting them?’ For years, I said it. I got them,” Trump said.
Soleimani’s Quds Force battled Baghdadi and Daesh across Iraq and Syria, and before that took on al-Qaeda and Taliban** militants in Syria and Afghanistan.
6 January 2020, 17:00 GMT
Earlier Monday, deputy chief of the judiciary for international affairs Kazem Gharibabadi warned
that Trump’s bragging about killing Soleimani was admissible as evidence in an international court of law.
Iran and Iraq have issued arrest warrants against Trump and his suspected accomplices. Interpol has refused to touch the case, citing its “political” nature.
* Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
** The Taliban is an organization under United Nations sanctions for terrorist activities.