The Iraqi Supreme Court has released an arrest warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump in connection with the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, on Iraqi soil, according to a report by IraqiNews citing a Baghdad news agency.
A drone strike near the Baghdad airport in January 2020 claimed the lives of both Soleimani and the deputy chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq. The warrant was issued on Thursday in connection with their deaths. Iranian attacks against the American base at Aia Al-Assad in Iraq were the result of that assassination mission. The warrant for Trump’s arrest alleges that he planned to kill someone. The death penalty is applied in cases of this kind, regardless of whether the warrant is essentially meaningless.
Faiq Zaidban, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, urged Baghdad to hold Trump “accountable for this heinous crime,” according to IraqiNews, which cited the Baghdad Today news agency. Ironically, in November, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament admitted that Iranian-backed militias had kidnapped and killed hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians between 2014 and 2016.
Iraq, which currently produces more oil than any other nation in OPEC besides Saudia Arabia, is pitted between two rival powers, Iran and the United States. Since the 2003 U.S. invasion that led to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iran’s influence in Iraq has significantly increased. In October, Iraq’s parliament appointed a new pro-Iranian prime minister, leading to the dominance of pro-Iranian parties. These parties have marginalized Shi’ite contender Moqtada al Sadr, who had been disrupting the government with protests against Iranian actions. The PMF leader who was assassinated in a military operation ordered by Trump was the head of an umbrella group that united pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, which were supported by the government as a part of the Iraqi armed forces.
Time will tell whether anything more than symbolism comes from this warrant.