Iran's government has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump on "murder and terrorism charges" over the killing of top commander Qasem Soleimani in January, the country’s semi-official news agency Fars reported Monday, as per CNBC. Fars also reported that the Iranian government is asking Interpol for help in the arrest of Trump.
Ali Alghasi-Mehr, the attorney general of Tehran, named Trump and 35 others accused of facilitating Soleimani’s death, saying they were facing "murder and terrorism charges,” and said he had asked Interpol to issue "red notices” for their arrest, which is the highest level notice the International Criminal Police Organisation can issue. However, it's highly unlikely Trump will be arrested on the warrant, as Interpol's guidelines forbid it from "undertaking any intervention or activities of a political" nature, CNBC noted. Also, while red notices allow local police to arrest the subject on behalf of the requesting country, they cannot force an arrest or extradition. Trump has not commented on the warrant and his administration has not responded to Iran’s announcement.
Soleimani was the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, which is the foreign operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. After the Trump administration labeled him a terrorist, blaming him for the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq, the 62-year-old was killed in a drone strike in early January while he was in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The move, directed by Trump, triggered a retaliatory attack by Iran and on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.
The potential for Trump's arrest also made headlines in May, when presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would not issue a pardon for Trump if elected in November. The president was not completely cleared by Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI and former special counsel for the United States Department of Justice, on questions of obstructing justice by trying to interfere with the department's Russian election interference investigation, and Biden told MSNBC if charges did result from those or other investigations, he would not issue a presidential pardon.
"It is not something the president is entitled to do, to direct a prosecution or decide to drop a case. It's a dereliction of duty," he said in May. "It's hands-off, completely. The attorney general is not the president's lawyer. It's the people's lawyer. We never saw anything like the prostitution of that office like we see it today."