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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

Iran again calls on Interpol to arrest Donald Trump

Move comes two days after first anniversary of killing of elite forces commander Qassem Suleimani

Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a ceremony on the occasion of the first anniversary of death of former Quds force commander Qassem Suleimani in Tehran. AFP
Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a ceremony on the occasion of the first anniversary of death of former Quds force commander Qassem Suleimani in Tehran. AFP

Iran's judiciary has issued a second international "red notice" calling for the arrest of outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Red notices are alerts made by governments or tribunals to the International Criminal Police Organisation, or Interpol, when a fugitive has crossed foreign borders.

The most recent announcement was made two days after the anniversary of the assassination of the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, Gen Qassem Suleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Head of the Iranian judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, who said a red notice must be issued, is known as a hardline supporter of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. At an event in Tehran on January 1 to commemorate Suleimani's death, Mr Raisi said his killers "will witness a severe revenge".

"What has come so far has only been glimpses," he said.

Analysts fear Iran may be planning a retaliatory terrorist attack after the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps said a "hard revenge" was still being planned.

Iran asserts that the air strike that killed Suleimani last year was illegal under international law, but those defending the assassination argue that he had directed Iran-backed militias to kill US troops – an American had been killed by pro-Iran groups in Iraq the previous week.

This means he could be regarded as an enemy combatant under the laws of armed conflict.

Iran made a similar request to Interpol in June, which was denied on the grounds that the organisation would not undertake "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character".

At the time, the Trump administration dismissed Iran's call to arrest Mr Trump as a "propaganda stunt".

An Interpol red notice is a request circulated to police around the world to locate and arrest a person wanted either by a country or an international tribunal, pending extradition or similar legal action.

While red notices are non-binding, they are common practice when wanted fugitives or people suspected of crimes flee across borders.

Updated: January 5, 2021 03:47 PM

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