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3 Jan, 2022 15:39

Trump & Pompeo must be put on trial – Iran’s president

Top US officials behind the assassination of General Soleimani must face trial, or Muslims will exact revenge on their own, the Iranian leader says
Trump & Pompeo must be put on trial – Iran’s president

Top US officials behind the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani must be put on trial, the country’s president said on the two-year anniversary of the killing, warning the US will face revenge of Muslims otherwise.

President Ebrahim Raeisi paid tribute to the late commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, during a ceremony at Tehran’s Grand Mussalah mosque on Monday.

Raeisi named former US President Donald Trump and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the main culprits behind the assassination, warning that failure to put them on trial for the attack will lead to Muslims’ revenge.

“If Trump and Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge,” he said.

The assassination of the general was a crime both against Iran and Iraq, which had its sovereignty violated by the US attack, the president stated.

“You not only violated Iraq’s sovereignty, but you also assassinated a nation, not just an individual,” Raeisi said.

Soleimani was assassinated outside Baghdad airport in a drone strike, ordered by then-US President Donald Trump, back on January 3, 2019. Other officials, including Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed in the strike as well. While Trump claimed the assassination was commissioned to prevent presumably imminent attacks on US personnel across the region, allegedly plotted by Soleimani, no evidence to back up such an assessment has ever emerged.

The assassination prompted an uproar in Iraq, with the country’s parliament adopting a non-binding resolution demanding the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country shortly after the killing. Iran itself responded with a volley of ballistic missiles that hit two US-occupied bases in Iraq. While no US soldiers were reported killed in the strikes, some 110 received traumatic brain injuries from being too close to the blasts.

The killing of Soleimani also triggered a low intensity warfare in Iraq, with US military assets and forces, as well as the heavily fortified embassy in Baghdad, repeatedly coming under attack ever since.