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Iran and Iraq issue joint statement on Soleimani assassination

IRAN and Iraq issued a joint statement today on the “criminal and terrorist” assassinations of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilisation Forces deputy head Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The two nations condemned last year’s killings as a “violation of the rules of international law, including relevant international conventions on the fight against terrorism.”

According to senior Iranian judiciary official Kazem Gharibabadi, they remain determined to “identify, prosecute and punish all those involved in deciding, planning and implementing this criminal act.”

He was speaking after the second joint session of an Iran-Iraq committee that is investigating the killing of the two men in a drone strike at Baghdad international airport in January 2020.

The attack was ordered by then US president Donald Trump and there were claims that the victims were lured to their death by being invited to talks sanctioned by Washington.

Tehran claims to have information on scores of individuals and organisations involved in the plot and has previously called for an international arrest warrant to be issued for Mr Trump and other senior US officials.

British outsourcing company G4S, which operates Baghdad airport, has denied allegations that it was complicit in the assassinations after Iran accused it of providing details of Gen Soleimani’s arrival.

Earlier this week, retired Israeli Major-General Tamir Hayman gave the first admission that Tel Aviv had played a role in the killings, supplying US intelligence with at least three of Gen Soleimani’s mobile phone numbers.

Tehran alleges that the assassination took place with German support, with the US air force’s Ramstein base believed to have been used to co-ordinate the attack.

Research also revealed in October that “it was probable” that the Menwith Hill electronic spying base in Britain had also played a part in Gen Soleimani’s killing.

Iran and Iraq pledged to continue to use “legal and judicial capacities at national and international levels to deliver justice and prevent the occurrence of such criminal acts,” Mr Gharibabadi said.

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