Iran has issued a warrant for the arrest of President Trump along with thirty five others over the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in January. They have asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” on the president so that he could be arrested in a third country and extradited to Iran, even though Iran claims they have no intention of trying him until he is out of office.
Most people know very little about Interpol except for what they see in the movies. That means everything they know about Interpol is wrong. Interpol has no investigators and they do not delve into international crime. They are more like a clearinghouse. Countries such as Iran makes their complaint to Interpol and if it is credible, they issue what is known as a “red notice.” That informs every country of someone’s fugitive status.
In Iran’s case, Interpol, turned them down flat. “It is strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
The Iranian government has been seething with anger over the January killing of Soleimani, who was in charge of the Quds Force until his death. The United States government accused Soleimani and the Quds of fostering unrest in both Syria and Iraq and carrying out attacks on United States troops in both countries. He was specifically suspected of being involved in the December 27, 2019, rocket attack on the K-1 Air Base and New Year’s Eve attack on the United States Embassy in Baghdad, both of which resulted in American deaths.
Soleimani was one of the most powerful people in Iran, and after his death, many Iranians protested in the streets, although it is unclear how many of them did so willingly. After significant saber-rattling, the Iranian government responded to his death militarily by launching a rocket attack that many observers noted was likely designed to specifically avoid causing United States casualties.
A U.S. government spokesperson claimed that Monday’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Trump was more of the same and a mere face-saving measure for the Iranian government.