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Iraq must prosecute Soleimani killers, Iranian officials say

IRAQ must identify and bring to justice those who killed Iranian Quds Force commander General Qasem Soleimani, human rights officials said following a meeting on Tuesday.

The two nations pledged to work together to prosecute those behind the January 2020 drone attack which also killed Popular Mobilisation Forces leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Iraqi Justice Minister Salar Abdul Sattar Muhammad was in Tehran for talks with Iran’s Human Rights Office general secretary Kazem Gharibabadi.

Mr Gharibabadi urged the Baghdad government to hold a session of a joint committee and bring those responsible before the Iraqi courts.

He criticised Western countries for their hypocritical approach to human rights, branding the assassination of Mr Soleimani “an act of state terror.”

Tehran has made justice for his killing a priority for the new government of President Ebrahim Raisi. 

On Monday head of the Iranian judiciary, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, said: “We will not allow the blood of these innocent people to be wasted.”

Iran blames the US and Israel for the killing of Mr Soleimani in a missile strike at Baghdad International Airport which was authorised by former US president Donald Trump.

It is alleged that the the Iranian military commander was lured to his death, travelling to the Iraqi capital as part of talks aimed at softening hostilities with Saudi Arabia.

Iran claims to have a list of some 45 individuals that were involved in the assassination.

British-based outsourcing company G4S — which operates security at Baghdad airport -— is one of those implicated in the killing of Mr Soleimani, with Iran’s top prosecutor Ali al-Qasi Mehr saying that it had provided information regarding the arrival of his plane.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considered an accessory to the assassination, with Tehran insisting that the Ramstein US Air Base may have been used to co-ordinate the assassination. 

Questions have been raised by the country’s Die Linke party as to whether German territory is being used to violate international law.

Last month it was alleged that the secretive RAF intelligence Menwith Hill military base in Yorkshire was also involved in the attack.

Researchers from the Menwith Hill Accountability Campaign said it “was probable” that Mr Soleimani was killed using information relayed from the British site, which functions as an outpost of the US National Security Agency.

Iran filed a “red notice” calling for the arrest of Mr Trump along with 47 other US officials in January, but it was declined.

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