Iraq issues arrest warrant for Trump

Iraqi News reports that Iraq’s judiciary has just issued an arrest warrant for former President Donald Trump. 

Per the outlet:

The President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, announced on Thursday the issuance of an arrest warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump, according to Baghdad Today news agency.

The arrest warrant appears to stem from the 2020 killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the former leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.

Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the chief of staff of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, was also killed in the attack.

Background

In January 2020, NBC News news reported that it was Trump, himself, who authorized the killing of Soleimani.

The outlet, at the time, reported:

President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of an American, according to five current and former senior administration officials. The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani, officials said.

Soleimani would end up being killed on Jan. 3 by a drone strike that took place in Baghdad, Iraq.

NBC News reports that “Trump signed off on the operation to kill Soleimani after Iranian-backed militia members responded to the U.S. strikes by storming the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad.”

The latest

Since then, Iraq and Iran have been vowing revenge on Trump.

Each year, at about this time – the time when Soleimani and Al-Muhandis were killed in the airstrike – the Iraqi judiciary puts out an arrest warrant for Trump.

In 2021, for example, the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq put out a statement, saying:

After the completion of the preliminary investigation procedures, the judge decided to issue an arrest warrant for the outgoing President of the United States of America, Donald Trump. The investigation procedures will continue to find out the other participants in the implementation of this crime, whether they are Iraqis or foreigners.

This year’s arrest warrant is along the same lines. Zaidan is reported as asking, “Why has [Trump] not yet been held accountable for this heinous crime?

“Protect and Defend”

In response to the threats from Iran and Iraq, the administration of President Joe Biden released a statement indicating that the U.S. government will protect Trump from such threats.

A State Department spokesperson said:

Iran continues to plot against U.S. citizens and interests as so-called revenge for the death of Qassem Soleimani, including by threatening current and former U.S. officials. So let us be clear: The United States will protect and defend its citizens. This includes present and former U.S. government officials.

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