94 Americans convicted in Soleimani assassination: Judiciary official

January 3, 2023 - 22:48

TEHRAN- Iran’s senior human rights official stressed in a news conference on Tuesday that 94 Americans are charged with assassinating Iran’s foremost anti-terror hero, General Qassem Soleimani, in 2020.

The comments were delivered by Kazem Gharibabadi, the deputy chief of the judiciary and director of Iran's human rights office, as he elaborated on the most recent findings of an investigation into the assassination.

“Currently, the indictment focuses on the American defendants. This case now has 94 criminals from America. All the necessary documents have been collected by the judicial authorities and at least three complete volumes about these 94 defendants have been prepared,” Gharibabadi underlined.

He continued by saying that the major offenders in this case are former U.S. president Donald Trump, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and former commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) General Kenneth F. McKenzie.

On January 3, 2020, a U.S. drone attack claimed the lives of General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) of Iraq.

The strike, which was conducted very close to Baghdad International Airport, was explicitly authorized by Trump.

Because of their crucial contribution to the battle against and defeat of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the region, notably in Iraq and Syria, the two anti-terror leaders enjoyed a great deal of respect and admiration throughout the region.

Since not all of the defendants are Americans and they had collaborators from other states, including from certain regional nations and two European countries, Germany and the UK, the Iranian official added, "We have also submitted letters rogatory to seven other countries."

Up to this point, those governments have chosen to ignore Iran's diplomatic calls to react to its judicial requests, he remarked.

Gharibabadi praised the "extremely good" judicial collaboration between Iran and Iraq and urged expediting the probe.

The human rights chief pointed out that Iran has also given the Iraqi judiciary information about the involvement of 17 Iraqis in the case.

A joint judicial committee between Iran and Iraq was established last year to look into the issue. The group has conducted three sessions in Tehran and Baghdad, and a fourth one is scheduled to take place next week.

Gharibabadi noted that the joint committee's sharing of high-quality material and records between the two nations' judiciaries had aided Iranian judicial officials in completing their investigations.

In addition, the top official stated that in accordance with the 1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, Iran has sent an official letter to the U.S. government requesting that American officials extradite the accused to Iran or bring charges against them in the United States.

Gharibabadi went on to say that “the deadline that we have set in this diplomatic note has expired and it means that Iran can take the next steps based on the 1973 Convention.”

He also said the U.S. officials are trying to bar the implementation of justice.

The top human rights official reiterated that “no one would be exempt from legal action,” underling nothing would “stop Iran's judicial system from investigating the heinous crime.”

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