On January 4, 2020, the Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards was killed by the U.S. in an airstrike at Baghdad airport, in Baghdad, Iraq. Thousands of mourners in Baghdad attended the funeral of Soleimani.
By declaration, Mr. Trump justified the killing of Mr. Soleimani in a missile attack on his convoy outside the Baghdad airport, Mr. Trump said that Soleimani- the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) international operations or “Quds force” was responsible for numerous terror attacks and was preparing for more.
Mr. Trump said that Soleimani killed thousands of innocent people in his sick passion, causative to terrorist conspiracy as far away as New Delhi and London. After his statement, India got caught in the middle between the United States and Iran. President Donald Trump holds Iranian General – Soleimani responsible for several attacks including one in Delhi. This charge was completely denied by Iran’s Ambassador to India, Ali Chegeni.
Iran’s Ambassador to India- Ali Chegeni rejected the accusations. Mr. Chegeni said in an interview to The Hindu, “Mr. Trump can say anything he likes, he can give any list of attacks that he likes. But this is a big lie. General Soleimani was a soldier; he was not involved in the targetting of innocents anywhere”.
The Ministry of External Affairs refused to comment on Mr. Trump’s declaration, which brought New Delhi into the growing conflicts between Washington and Tehran.
Mr. Trump is supposed to have referred to the car bombing of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi in February 2012. The diplomat, who was also the wife of the Israeli defense attaché, was wounded in the violence along with three others. At the time, the Delhi Police’s special cell that investigated the case alleged it was linked with attacks on Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi, Georgia with Bangkok, Thailand, and was carried out by IRGC agents at the time in revenge for attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists. Delhi Police officials say the case has not moved since 2013, when the only suspect, an Indian journalist with an Iranian news agency, was granted bail, a decision that was sustained in the Supreme Court.
Mr. Chegeni said that by mentioning the issue, Mr. Trump attempting to hide the U.S.’s action in the assassination of the Iranian official while he was paying a visit to Iraq after traveling to Syria for “anti-terrorism discussions”.