An Iranian official has announced that his nation will indict 48 Americans, one of whom could be President Donald Trump, for their roles in the targeted killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last year.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special parliamentary aide, made the announcement Wednesday. Abdollahian claimed that the Iranian Judiciary has spent the past year collecting domestic and foreign documents related to the killing.
Prosecutor General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr also announced that Iran has given “judicial representation” to the nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait in order to “pursue the case.”
Iran has been determining ways to avenge Soleimani’s killing for some time now, but the feasibility of them is highly questionable. In June the Iranians issued arrest warrants for 36 people involved in the killing, though there is virtually zero possibility of Iran arresting and prosecuting them. This latest round of indictments appears to be yet another case of political theater.
Soleimani was a major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who commanded its Quds Force, the branch that specializes in extraterritorial and clandestine operations. He oversaw the Iranian presence in the Syrian Civil War and fought against the Islamic State (ISIS). He was killed on January 3, 2020, in a drone strike that specifically targeted him. President Trump has said that he personally ordered the strike.
The United States long considered Soleimani to be a terrorist for his role in the deaths and injuries of numerous American soldiers and his involvement with Hezbollah, which the US has formally considered a terrorist organization since 1995.
Baghdad Bombings Could Give Biden Administration Excuse to Increase US Presence in Iraq
The first major Baghdad bombings in three years happen on Joe Biden’s first full day as president.
Two suicide bombings rocked a marketplace in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 32 people and wounding over 100. As of now no one has claimed responsibility, although Iraqi military leaders suspect the Islamic State, the paramilitary group often referred to as “ISIS” in years past.
Major General Tahsin al-Khafaji said that the first suicide bomber shouted in the marketplace that he was not feeling well, and when a group of people drew near him, he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing. Not long after that, a second suicide bomber then detonated his own belt several feet away.
This was Baghdad’s first major bombing in three years, and interestingly enough it came on the first full day of Joe Biden’s presidency. Even the Associated Press pointed out that “many questioned the timing of the attack.”
“The US-led coalition recently ceased combat activities and is gradually drawing down its troop presence in Iraq,” the article reads.
The Jerusalem Post also writes that the bombings provide Biden with “an early opportunity to show US support for Iraq.”
“Biden has said that the US is ‘back’ and the world can expect the US to care again about foreign policy and work multilaterally to solve problems,” said the Post.
All this leads many to believe that the Biden administration will once again increase the US presence in Iraq, thereby dragging us deeper into a situation that the Trump administration had been eager to get out of.
This is not the first time that a Middle Eastern tragedy has coincided with a change of power. In March of 2017, two months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Assad government in Syria allegedly used chemical weapons against its own people, leading to international outcry and the Trump administration’s unilateral decision to launch an April 7 missile strike on the Syrian government’s Shayrat Airbase.
Bombings and attacks have also been known to happen shortly after the US announces commitments to scale back military operations.
Perhaps groups like the Islamic State feel emboldened by such announcements and power changes. In any case, the military-industrial complex often uses such attacks to justify never-ending involvement in the Middle East. As of now, however, it still remains to be seen what they will do as a result of Thursday’s bombings, if anything. Fingers crossed that it’s not much.
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