TEHRAN (Dispatches) – A legal case has been launched to pursue through international channels the punishment of assassins of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s Judiciary Chief Hojatoleslam Seyed Ebrahim Raeisi says.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in the southwestern city of Kerman on Sunday, Raeisi offered his condolences to the people of the city, the hometown of Lt. Gen. Soleimani, saying the great martyr was a source of honor not only to Iranians but also to the Muslim world.
"Judicial authorities in the Islamic Republic and the dear ones we contacted in Iraq, are pursuing the case of martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” he said.
"A case was formed in the Tehran prosecutor’s office and judges were assigned to work with the Judiciary’s International Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and follow up on the issue in the country in cooperation with the top judicial officials in Iraq,” the official said.
The remarks came as a memorial service was held for Martyr Soleimani and his comrades in Tehran’s Mosalla (Grand Prayer Grounds) on Thursday with throngs of people as well as high-ranking government and military officials in attendance.
General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the deputy head of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi popular forces, and a number of their entourage were assassinated in a strike by American drones near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
The White House and the Pentagon claimed responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in Iraq, saying the attack was carried out at the direction of U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the early hours of January 8, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) targeted the U.S. airbase of Ain al-Assad in retaliation for the U.S. move.
Meanwhile, a visiting Iraqi judicial delegation agreed to form a joint committee for inquiry into the case of the U.S. assassination of General Soleimani.
Senior Iraqi judicial officials met with Deputy Iranian Minister of Justice on Human Rights and International Affairs Mahmoud Abbasi in Tehran on Sunday.
The Iranian side said that the Iranian government and nation have always stood by the Iraqis during tough times, including in the fight against terrorism.
Abbasi said that Iran has paid heavy human costs for supporting Baghdad government and the Iraqi nation, an example of which was the assassination of General Soleimani.
He said that the assassination by the U.S. in Baghdad while the Iranian general was officially visiting Iraq as a sovereign country constituted an international crime in contravention of the UN Charter guaranteeing sovereignty of states.
Iran and Iraq would take the U.S. terrorist attack against commanders of the two sovereign states to the International Court of Justice, the official said.
In another development, Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has unveiled a statue of General Qassem Soleimani in the southern Lebanese border town of Maroun al-Ras.
The move was to honor the Iranian general for his services in the war on terror in the Middle East region.
A video circulating on social media shows the moment the Lebanese celebrating the unveiling of the statue of Iranian top General.
The statue shows General Soleimani with his arm stretched out in front of him, pointing toward the Israeli-occupied territory.