DUBAI – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, speaking on the second anniversary of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by the United States, said that former U.S. President Donald Trump must face trial for the killing or Tehran would take revenge.
Iran and groups allied with it in Iraq have been holding events to honor Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the elite Revolutionary Guards. He was killed in Iraq in a drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020, ordered by then President Trump.
“If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge,” Raisi said in a speech on Monday.
“The aggressor, murderer and main culprit — the then president of the United States — must be tried and judged under the (Islamic) law of retribution, and God’s ruling must be carried out against him,” Raisi added.
Under Iran’s Islamic laws, a convicted murderer can be executed unless the family of the victim agree to take “blood money” through a reconciliation.
Iranian judicial officials have communicated with authorities in nine countries after identifying 127 suspects in the case, including 74 U.S. nationals, Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri told state television.
“The criminal former president (Trump) is at the top of the list,” he said.
On Sunday, Iran urged the United Nations Security Council in a letter to hold the United States and Israel, which Tehran says was also involved in the killing, to account, according to Iranian media.
Days after the assassination, the United States told the United Nations that the killing was self-defenae and vowed to take additional action as necessary in the Middle East to protect U.S. personnel and interests.
The then U.S. Attorney General William Barr said at the time that Trump clearly had the authority to kill Soleimani and the general was a “legitimate military target.”