Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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Iran’s Arrest Warrant Against Trump: Can Iran Detain Donald Trump If He Loses US Presidential Elections?

Iran recently issued an arrest warrant against US President Donald Trump and 35 others over the killing of Iran’s top general – Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force. 

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Donald Trump ordered an airstrike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, that killed Qasem Soleimani. “The strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” said Pentagon in a statement. It accused Soleimani of masterminding an attack on American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.

Iran has requested France based Interpol to detain Donald Trump and others who they believe were involved in carrying out the drone strike. The request has been rejected by Interpol.

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“Under Article 3 of INTERPOL’s constitution ‘it is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’,” the Lyon-based international organization said in the emailed statement.

Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran called the arrest warrant as a “propaganda stunt” that “nobody takes seriously”. However, according to Dr Wang Jin, a research fellow of Charhar Institute in China and an associate professor from Northwest University in China, said that there is a possibility that Iran can detain the US President.

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It is still unknown whether Donald Trump could win the upcoming US presidential election late this year. Without his presidential status, it is hard to say whether Trump would be under well-trained protection to prevent possible captures or attacks implemented by Iran security staff – he wrote.

He argued that Iran possesses the capability to launch and organize attacks against Donald Trump and other major figures on the warrant list like it did in Paris when the French security establishment foiled an attack led by Iranian cell targeting Iranian political dissents in February 2018.

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“Although the plan was not successfully implemented, it suggested the capability of Iran’s intelligence network to penetrate Europe to organize possible attacks,” he said.

He further explained that Iran’s strong influence in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria where Iran’s Quds Forces support and lead various military and political groups, can be easily used to detain Tehran wanted figures.

“Although the chances for Tehran to detain Donald Trump is relatively low, the intention behind the warrant should not be underestimated. The warrant should be understood as the challenge of Iranian hardliners towards Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was the major figure of moderate camp in the Iranian political arena,” he said.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for talks with Washington on conditions that Trump apologizes for exiting the nuclear pact in 2018 and compensate Iran for its losses. “We have no problem with talks with the US, but only if Washington fulfils its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologies and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 deal,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

The issuance of the warrant by the Iranian justice department now prohibits the talks between Rouhani and Trump. “The warrant should be understood as the challenge of Iranian hardliners towards Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was the major figure of moderate camp in the Iranian political arena,” wrote Jin.

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Jin concluded with saying that the issuance of the warrant blocks Tehran’s cooperation efforts with Washington by labelling Trump as a “murderer”.

“The year 2021 would be the presidential election year in Iran. Hassan Rouhani, an important figure from moderate camp, would finish his two consecutive four-year terms, and the hardliner-conservative camp hopes to replace Rouhani’s presidential office with a more assertive leader,” he added.

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