Iran: Revolutionary Guard Navy seize Panama vessel in 2020
Soleimani, the Middle East nation’s most powerful general, was killed by a Trump ordered airstrike on January 3, 2020 in a mission “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans”, the Pentagon said. He was hit by the drone strike at around 1am in Baghdad, Iraq while travelling close to Baghdad International Airport.
Renewed vows for revenge against the US have been made by military officials in Iran in recent weeks.
This includes Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi, deputy chief of the IRGC Quds Force, who said a “harsh revenge” would be inflicted.
Tehran has now filed a Red Notice with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), requesting the 45th US president’s arrest.
The notice is a request to “locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”, Interpol’s website states.
Soleimani was commander of the Quds force, the external wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which was listed as a terrorist organisation by the US in April 2019.
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and a close Soleimani associate, was also killed in the attack.
Gholamhossein Esmaili, Iranian judiciary spokesman, as reported by Al Jazeera, said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran is very seriously following up on pursuing and punishing those who ordered and executed this crime.”
It is the second such request after Iranian prosecutor Ali Alqasimeh issued a warrant for Mr Trump’s arrest in June on “murder and terrorism charges”. This was, of course, not granted.
In rejecting it, Interpol said it is forbidden from conducting “intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.
Officials in Tehran saw Mr Trump’s departure from the White House on January 20 as an opportune moment to try again.
Mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran were exacerbated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seizing a South Korean tanker “for polluting the Persian Gulf with chemicals” on Monday.
The US State Department called on Iran to release the vessel “immediately”.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with General Soleimani’s family last month – two weeks before the first anniversary of his killing.
Khamenei said on Twitter: “Those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.”
The Pentagon said in a statement after the killing of Soleimani: “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.
“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
President Trump has also blamed Iran for a rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad last month.
An Iraqi military statement said “an outlawed group” was behind the attack.
Iran also issued a warning to the US and Israel to not cross it’s “red lines” in the Persian Gulf in the closing days of 2020.
The nation’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spoke following reports of an Israeli submarine crossing the Suez Canal and heading for the Gulf.
He said crossing the red lines posed a “risk” to the nation’s security.