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Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump That Interpol Rejects

By VOA News June 29, 2020

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump, whom the Islamic Republic accuses of being involved in a January drone strike that killed a top Iranian commander.

The warrant, for charges of "murder and terrorism," was announced Monday by Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr, according to the state-run IRNA news agency and other media. Alqasimehr said that Iran requested an Interpol "red notice" for Trump and 35 others. Under a red notice, which is the highest alert that the international law enforcement organization puts out, nations can make arrests on behalf of the requesting country but aren't forced to take action.

Interpol noted in a statement that its constitution barred it from "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character."

"Interpol would not consider requests of this nature," the organization added.

The U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, dismissed the warrant during a news conference in Saudi Arabia. 

"This is [of] a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace or promoting stability," said Hook. "It is a propaganda stunt that no one takes seriously."

Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike Jan. 3, spurring an Iranian missile strike on U.S. troops in Iraq a few days later. Soleimani was widely popular in Iran, but U.S. officials considered the general responsible for the deaths of American diplomats and soldiers in the region.

The news of the arrest warrant came a day after Hook advocated for the renewal of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, in an interview with the Associated Press.

"If we let it expire, you can be certain that what Iran has been doing in the dark, it will do in broad daylight and then some," said Hook. The embargo is set to expire in October.

Iran has threatened retaliation if the embargo is renewed.

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