An Iranian court has ordered the United States government to pay nearly $50 billion in damages for assassinating a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, nearly four years ago, the judiciary said on Wednesday, December 6.
Judicial officials also demanded an apology for the killing of the Soleimani in a drone strike near Baghdad International Airport in January 2020.
Then-US president Donald Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed Soleimani, 62, and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3, 2020.
Then US President Donald Trump justified the action by saying that Soleimani was actively planning attacks on American diplomats and service members in the region. Trump also claimed the veteran regime commander was already “directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people”.
Now the 55th Branch of the Legal Court of International Relations of the Tehran Justice Department has ruled against the US government and 41 other individuals and entities, ordering them to pay a sum of $49.77 billion in connection with the killing.
The court also ordered that the US government and the others held responsible for Soleimani’s death should issue a formal apology, with instructions to publish it in a widely circulated newspaper.
The sentence comes after judicial officials had ruled in favor of more than 3,000 plaintiffs who had filed complaints claiming that they had suffered damages as a result of Soleimani’s death.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian previously stated in January that nearly 60 US officials had been blacklisted by Tehran for their involvement in the assassination of Soleimani.
Both Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have repeatedly vowed revenge for the killing of Soleimani.
Since Soleimani’s death, a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been charged with planning to assassinate John Bolton, the former US National Security Advisor, as retaliation for the military commander’s killing. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also identified as a potential target in the same plot.
Qassem Soleimani played a crucial role in Iran’s external military and intelligence operations, overseeing the support and organization of militant proxy forces, including Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militia groups engaged in hostilities against US forces in the region.