Trump must be punished for Soleimani assassination: Judiciary chief

January 4, 2021 - 22:15

TEHRAN – Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi has said the Islamic Republic will pursue the case of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani’s assassination until all perpetrators behind the U.S. attack that killed the top anti-terror general are punished, warning that the outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump must be punished for the act of terror.

“In Iran, a special court has been established to follow up on this issue, but since the assassination took place in Iraq, we negotiated with Iraqi officials and the political and judicial officials of the two countries had meetings to pursue this case jointly and the case will be pursued until all of the criminals are punished,” Raisi said on Monday, according to Mehr.

On January 3, 2020, 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), as well as their companions.

Five days later, 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.

Raisi said the assassination was a clear example of state terrorism, which occurred in a third country and when General Soleimani was in Iraq at the official invitation of former Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

“This is definitely a crime that is not compatible with any of the international laws and regulations and the principles of human rights, and the perpetrators and those who were involved in this assassination can be prosecuted, and this prosecution will not be stopped,” he added.

He also said Trump has overtly announced that he has committed this crime and he must be punished whether he is the president of the United States or not.

“All of the individuals who helped him have been identified,” the top judge pointed out.

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.

Just last week Iran’s human rights body announced that three more individuals have been identified who had been involved in the assassination.

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 assassins, especially Trump, 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 two month ago.

He explained that 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,” the spokesman added.

In a statement on January 3, 2020, the Foreign Ministry said, “Martyr Soleimani will be remembered for his courage, wisdom and an unparalleled role in the fight against terrorism and extremism.”

It added, “The Iranian nation will never forget and will never forgive the criminal assassination and will not rest until brining those responsible to justice.”


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