Iranian, Iraqi legal teams to meet in Tehran on Monday

Kadkhodaei calls for founding joint Iran-Iraq court to investigate Soleimani assassination

January 7, 2023 - 21:51

TEHRAN – Abbasali Kadkhodaei, head of a special legal committee tasked to investigate the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, has called for formation of a joint Iran-Iraq court to follow the issue at international courts with greater speed.

General Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, were assassinated in a U.S. drone strike near Iraq’s international airport on January 3, 2020.

“The crime that the regime of the U.S. committed in the assassination of Hajj Qassem and his companions was an open violation of international law,” Kadkhodaei asserted.

The assassination was also a “violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and violation of the (political) immunity of other countries’ officials,” he added.

He went on to say that “this crime is so obvious that most international lawyers insist on its illegality.”

Kadkhodaei, a law expert, confirmed that so far Iran has demanded punishment for about 90 persons involved in the assassination, including those who aided and abetted in the terrorist act.

Among top figures who are subject to penalty are former U.S. president Donald Trump, his foreign secretary of state Mike Pompeo and national security advisor John Bolton.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani on Thursday paid tribute to General Qassem Soleimani and al-Muhandis, saying that their targeted killings were actually “a brazen attack” on Iraq's sovereignty.

“The crime of assassinating the ‘Commanders of Victory’ and their companions represented a flagrant violation of Iraq’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty. The targeted killings of the commanders, who had a leading role in elimination of the scourge of terrorism, is an utter disrespect to bilateral agreements [signed between Baghdad and Washington],” Sudani said at a ceremony in Baghdad in commemoration of the two legendary commanders, Press TV reported.

General Soleimani was a gust of then Iraq’s prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi who was assassinated by the U.S.

“…while enroute to meet with Iraqi prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi al-Muntafiki, Hajj Qassem was assassinated outside of Baghdad International Airport by order of the criminal occupant of the Oval Office of the White House in Washington,” American analyst Yuram Abdullah Weiler says.

Prime Minister Sudani said, “We woke up on January 3, 2020 to hear the terrible news about assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and General Qassem Soleimani, who was on an official visit to Iraq.”

The Iraqi leader went on to denounce the Trump administration over its brazen attack on Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Moreover, Chairman of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council Faiq Zidane decried the assassination of Muhandis and Gen. Soleimani as “a vile and cowardly act.”

He underscored that the Iraqi Judiciary bears the responsibility to shed light on all circumstances surrounding the assassination, calling on the country’s security institutions to provide judicial authorities with all necessary documents and findings in this regard.

Zidan went on to note that Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council has issued an arrest warrant for Trump over the assassination.

The council's president said that Trump has confessed to his “crime” in relation to the assassination of the “Leaders of Victory.”

He called upon all Iraqi officials involved in investigations over the targeted killings to try their utmost, and identify all related architects, organizers and culprits.

Meanwhile, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s human rights chief and deputy judiciary chief for international affairs, announced on Saturday that Iran and Iraq will hold the fourth joint legal investigation committee on the Soleimani assassination in Tehran on Monday.

In this session new documents will be exchanged between Iranian and Iraqi legal delegations and the two sides also share new information on the issue.

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