Iran has issued an arrest warrant for President Trump and 35 other people it says were involved in a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad earlier this year and has asked for international help in detaining them, according to Iranian news reports.
According to the reports, Tehran’s top prosecutor, Ali al-Qasimehr, said that those sought were involved in “directing the assassination” of Gen. Qassim Suleimani, who was killed with other Iranian and Iraqi officials at the Baghdad airport in January.
The comments came during a meeting with judicial figures, according to the semiofficial ISNA news agency, and Mr. al-Qasimehr added that Iran intended to pursue prosecution of Mr. Trump even after his term in office ends. No information was immediately available on the other people sought by Iran.
The ISNA report noted that “judicial authorities have ordered arrest warrants for them and a notice of red alert through the international police” and said that a request for cooperation had been handed over to Interpol, an international police organization that includes both the United States and Iran as members.
Interpol said in an email statement that under its founding constitution, “it is strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
“Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat, in accordance with the provisions of our constitution and rules, Interpol would not consider requests of this nature,” the statement read, though it did not specifically address the Iranian request.
While the organization is responsible for coordinating international policing efforts, it does not have the authority to make arrests or force nations to arrest people on behalf of other governments.
The organization’s “red alert” notices are not arrest warrants. They are sent out as a “request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action,” according to Interpol.
General Suleimani, a powerful Iranian commander, was killed in an American drone strike at the Baghdad airport in January, increasing tensions between the United States and Iran and nearly leading to war.
The strike was ordered by Mr. Trump, who said it was carried out to prevent an imminent attack on American interests, but in the months since the attack, the United States has presented no evidence of this.
The Pentagon also defended the killing of General Suleimani, who it said planned attacks on American diplomats and service members, including a deadly assault on an Iraqi military base last December that killed an American contractor.