- It was deemed unlikely by many that Interpol would grant the request by Iran.
- US Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, has called for the continuation of an international arms embargo against Iran.
- Tensions between the two archenemies increased massively since at least May 2018.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump over the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. Tehran has also asked Interpol, the international police organization, for support in the accomplishment of the mission. The Iranian arrest warrant is, however, considered symbolic.
Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general was killed in January by a Trump-ordered drone attack in Iraq. He was seen as the initiator of Iranian terrorist activities in the Middle East. However, the United States was unable to provide any tangible evidence that the killing had thwarted an imminent attack.
Owing to the move, Trump was also highly criticized, not only abroad but also domestically, as analysts in the US argued that he was bringing the US to the brink of an open war with Iran. In an immediate probable retaliation, Iran attacked a US missile base in Iraq using ballistic missiles.
It was deemed unlikely by many that Interpol would grant the request by Iran. Heads of state enjoy diplomatic immunity under international law.
US Arms Embargo on Iran
Meanwhile, US Special Envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, has called for the continuation of an international arms embargo against Iran. During a visit to Saudi Arabia, Hook pointed out that Iranian arms deliveries to the civil war-torn country of Yemen were intercepted in November and February.
The Saudi government said it was only on Sunday that certain Iranian weapons were seized for the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Hook said there was “no doubt” that the rockets launched in Riyadh last week had been fired from Yemen.
Meanwhile, the Iranian authorities affirmed that the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January was due to human error. Military prosecutor Golam Abbas Torki said on Monday that, according to the Iranian news agency Tasnim, the attack was not ordered by senior military personnel.
There is no evidence that there was a cyber attack on the Iranian missile or anti-aircraft system. Torki said three people were arrested in connection with the accident. All 176 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737-800, of Ukrainian International Airlines, was shot down.
The plane, eventually en route to Canada, had crashed in early January shortly after taking off in Tehran. The Iranian leadership initially denied that the plane had been shot down, and spoke of a technical defect. Western intelligence agencies had come to a similar conclusion in initial assessments.
Later, however, the suspicion was confirmed that the passenger plane was hit by a rocket. After days of denial, the Iranian leadership conceded that the Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down the plane after it flew past one of its military facilities.
The launch occurred shortly after Iranian retaliatory attacks for killing Soleimani at U.S. military bases in Iraq. Iran was therefore set for a counterattack by the United States.
After the United States abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, tensions between the two archenemies increased massively. Because the European countries were unable to meet the economic commitments of the agreement, due to US sanctions threats, Iran has also gradually withdrawn from the agreement concluded in Vienna in 2015.
Iran is once again massively enriching uranium, which can be used to manufacture an atomic bomb. Washington accuses Iran of spreading strife in the Middle East.
For example,Iran has extended military support to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the Houthi rebels fighting against a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen, and the radical Islamic and anti-Israeli groups, Hezbollah and Hamas.