Iran’s Judiciary chief says during his visit to neighboring Iraq he will discuss bilateral relations with Iraqi officials, with the follow-up of the US assassination of top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani high on his agenda.
Ebrahim Raeisi made the remarks on Monday before setting off for the Iraqi capital Baghdad, telling reporters that he will discuss matters of mutual interest to both countries with senior Iraqi judicial officials.
He said that his visit to Baghdad is taking place at the invitation of President of Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council Faiq Zidan, adding that he would hold talks with the country's president, prime minister and a number of other senior officials.
Raeisi added that the pursuit of Washington's cowardly assassination of General Soleimani and his companions in Iraq tops the agenda of talks with the Iraqi officials.
Iraq's Judiciary chief also appreciated the measure taken by the Iraqi judiciary to investigate the case and issue an arrest warrant for former US president, Donald Trump.
The judiciary chief noted that Iran is also pursuing this important case, expressing hope that efforts made by the two countries would lead to clear outcomes.
US terrorists assassinated General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions by targeting their vehicle outside Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.
The act of terror was carried out under the direction of Trump, with the Pentagon taking responsibility for the strike.
General Soleimani is viewed by the world's freedom-seeking people as the key figure in defeating Daesh, the world’s most notorious terrorist group, in the Middle East battles.
In January, an Iraqi court ordered the arrest of Trump as part of its investigation into the assassination of General Soleimani and his Iraqi trenchmate.
The arrest warrant, issued by Baghdad's Rusafa investigation court, applies to Trump under Article 406 of the Iraqi penal code, which provides for the death penalty in all cases of premeditated murder.
The court said the preliminary inquiry had been completed but “investigations are continuing in order to unmask the other culprits in this crime, be they Iraqis or foreigners.”
Elsewhere in his remark, Raeisi said stressed the importance of expanding bilateral legal and judicial relations given the two countries' common borders, border interaction, trade and exchange of visits between the Iranian and Iraqi pilgrims.
He noted that during his trip, he plans to explore ways to improve legal and judicial ties with Iraqi officials.
‘US assassination of Gen. Soleimani was crime, violated Iraq’s sovereignty’
Upon his arrival in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, Iran’s Judiciary chief paid a visit to the site of the US airstrike that led to the martyrdom of Gen. Soleimani and his companions outside the city’s international airport.
Addressing people at the site, Raeisi said the assassination of Gen. Soleimani and his companions, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was a criminal act that violated the sovereignty of the Iraqi government as well.
“This is the place where two great commanders of Islam where killed and the blood of Iranians and Iraqis meet at this point,” Iran’s Judiciary chief said.
Adding that the ties between Iranians and Iraqis are age-old, Raeisi said religious and ideological links between the two neighboring nations are so strong that they cannot be torn apart with any plot or act of seditions.
Noting that the characters of both martyrs, namely Gen. Soleiman and Muhandis, will pose a bigger threat to the United States and other occupying forces after their martyrdom, Raeisi said, Gen. Soleimani and Muhandis were region’s icons in fighting against terrorism.
“This place is the symbol of the horrible crime committed by the global arrogance topped by the US. This is why the US targets the symbol of resistance and does not care for any international law and tramples on all norms of international law and Iraq’s sovereignty to commit this crime,” Raeisi said.
Iran’s Judiciary chief emphasized that the criminal assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis by the US forces will not go unanswered.
“The US creates, funds and arms Daesh and unleashes it upon the people of our region and then assassinates those who stand against it,” Raeisi said, adding that this fact has been testified to by American officials themselves.
Underlining the historical and unique cultural and religious ties between the Iranian and Iraqi nations, Iran’s Judiciary chief noted that the school of thought established by Gen. Soleimani and Muhandis will continue to have great followers for many years to come.
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