Iran announced on January 14 that it will file a lawsuit against the United States for assassinating its top military leader Qassem Soleimani. Tehran’s Judiciary spokesperson Gholam Hossein Esmaeili reportedly said that they will file the case in Iran, Iraq, and at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague. He said that the killing of Soleimani by the US was clearly a “terrorist action”.
Earlier, the Iranian parliament had approved a motion to designate the US Military and Pentagon as ‘terrorist organisations’. Speaking at a press conference in Tehran, Esmaeili also called for the expulsion of the British ambassador to Tehran, claiming that the envoy did not respect the laws of Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran has announced its first arrests over the downing of the Ukranian airliner that killed all the 176 people on board. Tehran was denying the claims of shooting down the jetliner but later acknowledged it after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh admitted that a missile operator mistook the plane for a cruise missile and opened fire.
Iran came under enormous pressure from around the world for an independent and transparent investigation. President Hassan Rouhani urged the Judiciary to hold a special hearing, headed by a senior judge, to investigate the issue. Speaking at a conference on January 14, Rouhani said that the authorities must explain the entire development, from the day the aircraft was hit by a missile until the Supreme National Security Council was convened.
"From the moment I thought the crash of the Ukrainian plane was not normal, I tried to shorten the investigation period to know exactly how the plane crashed,” said Rouhani during a press conference. The Iranian President said that the armed forces cooperated well with the investigation and as soon as the actual reason was discovered, he told the authorities to inform the people.
"The judiciary should hold a special court with a high-ranking judge and dozens of experts. This is not a normal case and the whole world will follow the case in our court,” added Rouhani.