Interpol's Double Standards in Rejecting Iran's Warrant for TrumpHamidreza Gholamzadeh Natanzi
On January 3, 2020 an assassination order was issued by US President Trump that divided history of the West of Asia region into two parts. American forces, apparently abetted by Israelis, attacked the convoy carrying Iranian legendary IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Hashd Al-Shabi Popular Forces Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, where the latter was officially receiving the former who was visiting Baghdad on official invitation of the Iraqi PM for bilateral talks.
General Soleimani was the most significant figure in fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria and his elite forces had in several cases survived many cities from collapse, when they were abandoned by the US, other Arab countries and neighboring Turkey. Thus, his assassination temporarily gave terrorist groups in the region a time to breathe, and has postponed a victory over terrorism in the region, keeping it, as US favors, in turmoil.
The History Behind the US-Iran Conflict
Moreover, terrorist attack on General Soleimani shut all the doors to possible talks between Tehran and Washington. Decades ago, the US carried out a coup in Iran and replaced a democratically elected PM with a tyrant Shah, planting seeds of distrust in Iranian minds. Distrust grew up when Washington received Shah after the Islamic Revolution, despite serious opposition by Iranian people and government.
US administration preferred to take Shah’s side despite being warned by several officials and experts from both sides that the decision could lead to public anger and seizure of the American embassy in Tehran…as it did actually happen. While Iranians had all the reasons to be mad at US policies and officials, the White House people and mainstream media managed to deliver a narrative about the embassy takeover which would give Americans the reason to hate Iranians. Since then, the relations were cut for many reasons, not all of them good, rational ones.
All the sanctions and pressures, 8 years of intensive war cosponsored by western powers against Iran, various sabotage or assassinations, maximum pressure campaign, etc. made Iran to resist and find ways to strengthen itself against threats. All these have turned Iran into a power, at least a regional power; as what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Being located at the heartland of energy in the world and becoming a regional power, Iran is a significant global player. Lack of relations between powers in global issues such as terrorism results in unnecessary and useless friction and hindrance in path to tackle such problems.
While Iran has its foot firm on the ground in the West Asia, the US cannot even buy such a stance by spending trillions of dollars and huge tolls; let's not forget that Iran and the very same General Soleimani helped Washington get out of Afghanistan quagmire in 2001 war on the country. This means that in lack of cooperation, US will continue to resort to destabilizing the region to at least benefit from arms sales and engaging Iran and other regional players in unnecessary conflicts and problems, simply moving the world toward more conflict and war and more victims.
Assassinating an Iranian national hero put an end to any possibility for talks or cooperation
The Case of Unjustified Assassination of Iran’s Hero
Assassinating an Iranian national hero put an end to any possibility for talks or cooperation. According to Maryland University poll, over 80 per cent of Iranians admired General Soleimani and he was the most popular figure in the country.
In late June, Iran issued an arrest warrant against Donald Trump who has admitted personally ordering the assassination and dozens of others involved in the attack. Tehran called on Interpol for help in detaining those named in the warrant including President Trump. According to Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr over 30 people face "murder and terrorism charges" and Interpol is asked to issue red notices for them.
Interpol, however, issue a statement claiming that its constitution forbade it to undertake "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character," trying to step aside from the US-Iran tension. But the history of the international organization, interestingly regarding the Islamic Republic, shows that the claim that "… if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat ... Interpol would not consider requests of this nature," is not true for every country.
Interpol Denies Help to Iran
In November 2003, following a request by Argentina, INTERPOL issued Red Notices for 12 Iranian nationals including current and former officials, for allegedly participating in AMIA terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994. The list included former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former FM Ali Akbar Velayati and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahijan and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei among others. quite surprisingly, the red notices by Interpol were published without verifying the verdict of the Argentinian judge who was later proved to have been bribed into issuing the warrants. Less than two decades ago, Interpol did not hesitate to stand against Iran and play a puppet role in a political fabricated scenario against Iran and issue red notices until years later when removal of the judge forced them to reconsider their notice. The notice against Fallahijan is still in place and can be seen on the website.
on that. Yet, it is a principal policy of the Islamic Republic to take all conventional steps in international arena to avoid any excuses justifying others' misconducts. With the experience of the JCPOA, a multilateral agreement reinforced by UNSC resolution, being easily violated by the US and European Troika without any punishment it is no surprise for Tehran to see Interpol denies getting involved in reaction to an assassination which according to UN U.N. human rights investigator and expert Agnes Callamard has violated the U.N. Charter and is against the international law.
“The world is at a critical time, and possible tipping point ... The Security Council is missing in action; the international community, willingly or not, stands largely silent,” Callamard has told Reuters.
The recent move by Iranian prosecutor would give the world another chance to realize enrooted hypocrisy and double standards ruling the international bodies.
The recent move by Iranian prosecutor would give the world another chance to realize enrooted hypocrisy and double standards ruling the international bodies. It shows the world that real politics is totally different from text books and statements and charters and as Coronavirus crisis has shown the world, none of the presumed world orders would be observed and western countries would steal protective equipment and test kits from one another, violate any rules and just seek their own interests by putting pressures on international organizations, being it UNESCO, UNICEF or UN Human Rights Council.
The move by Iran and the response by Interpol can explain the world why Iranian people and officials can trust neither US, nor Interpol or any other international organizations.
Hamidreza Gholamzadeh Natanzi
PhD candidate in American Studies at University of Tehran and the head of Peace Sprit Foundation