Iran blacklists 60 US officials for the 2020 assassination of top Iran military commander News
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Iran blacklists 60 US officials for the 2020 assassination of top Iran military commander

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian Monday said in an interview with Iranian state TV that 60 US officials allegedly involved in the 2020 assassination of General Qasem Soleimani have been placed on Tehran’s terrorist blacklist. Abdollahian said the country was exhausting all possible legal and diplomatic channels to prosecute those involved in the general’s assassination.

Abdollahian also said that Iran registered the American administration’s–in 2020 that would have been former President Donald Trump’s administration–”responsibility in the assassination” through an official memo. Abdollahian indicated that Iran will follow the lawsuit through its “natural path.” In response to the memo, Abdollahian stated the US communicated its displeasure through indirect diplomatic channels. Abdollahian claimed Washington DC was forced to invest “exorbitant expenses” in the protection of blacklisted officials traveling abroad at the time the memo was filed.

President Ebrahim Raisi vowed revenge for the 2020 assassination, adding that Iran will not let the “murderers” responsible rest.

The interview with Abdollahian comes on the heels of the third anniversary of the assassination. Qasem Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force, the military intelligence branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The US designated IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). In a ceremony to mark the anniversary, Abdollahian stated that a committee had been formed to legally pursue the perpetrators of the attack in conjunction with other organizations in Iran.

US military forces killed Soleimani in a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 1, 2020. The Pentagon stated the attack was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans.” Trump claimed Soleimani killed or badly wounded Americans over an “extended period of time.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Soleimani was “actively engaged in plotting against America.”

The attack further deteriorated  US-Iran relations. As a result, Iran declined to pursue the 2015  Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, with the US.