A court in Tehran ruled on Wednesday that former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the CIA, the Pentagon, and a host of other American people and entities must pay Iran nearly $50 billion to “compensate” for an airstrike that eliminated senior Iranian terror chief Qasem Soleimani.
Soleimani served as the head of the Quds Force, the foreign terror unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a position in which he orchestrated years of attacks on American forces and was believed to be responsible for hundreds of attacks on the United States. Soleimani was in Iraq on January 3, 2020, meeting with the head of the Iran-backed Hezbollah Brigades, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, when a U.S. airstrike eliminated them both from the battlefield. The Hezbollah Brigades are a terrorist organization that belongs to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella of various militias, mostly Shiite, that were formally added to the Iraqi armed forces during the struggle against the Islamic State caliphate.
“Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today, we remember and honor the victims of Soleimani’s many atrocities, and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over,” then-President Trump announced following the airstrike against Soleimani. “Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved.”
The government of Iran responded to the elimination of one of its top terrorist leaders with hysterical mass funerals, calls to execute Trump, and demands that U.S. courts prosecute the leadership of the country for taking legitimate military action. Esmail Qaani, the IRGC official who took over for Soleimani, has threatened to kill the Trump administration officials responsible and encouraged Americans to do so.
“Wherever it is needed, we will provide for the basis of revenge against the Americans from within their houses and by people by their side without us being present,” Qaani said in January 2022, marking the anniversary of the airstrike. He continued:
If wise people in America are found who deal with those who committed the atrocity of assassinating Commander Soleimani, this action will be much less burdensome for America than if the offspring of the Resistance Front, who know no bounds, to themselves go and take this revenge.
Tehran has also attempted to turn Soleimani into a martyr, rebranding him as an allegedly beloved poet. The days following Soleimani’s death, however, prompted widespread protests against the regime within the country, undermining the brutal regime’s narrative that the Iranian people loved the Quds Force chief.
In December 2020, Iranian officials claimed the country’s repressive Sharia system would prosecute Trump for the drone strike.
“Trump is the number one criminal in the assassination of martyr Soleiamni [sic], who has admitted to the crime before the world people and he may by no means be seen immune to punishment for this act,” then-Iranian Judiciary Chief Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi asserted.
An in-absentia trial concluded on Wednesday, demanding the prodigious sum of $50 billion from various U.S. government figures and agencies, according to Iran’s state-run PressTV. The outlet listed the defendants convicted as:
The US government, former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, the US Department of Defense, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Reserve System as well as weapons companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were among the people and entities found responsible for General Soleimani’s assassination.
“The courted [sic] ordered the defendants to pay a total of $49.77 billion in damages to claimants in the case. They were condemned to pay $16.59 billion in damages to make up for the moral and monetary losses brought about by the assassination,” PressTV observed. “Additionally, the defendants were ordered to pay double the damages, totaling $33.18 billion, in order to deter future violations and ensure accountability for their actions.”
The court also demanded an “official apology.”
It was unclear from the report on the trial whom the court expects to receive the billions of dollars. It claimed that the suit was a class action brought to the court by more than 3,000 Iranian nationals.
The trial appears to be a separate legal proceeding from criminal charges announced by Tehran in January against 94 Americans, including Trump, allegedly involved in the airstrike.
“Currently, the indictment focuses on the American defendants. This case now has 94 criminals from America. All the necessary documents have been collected by the judicial authorities and at least three complete volumes about these 94 defendants are prepared,” Kazem Gharibabadi, an Iranian “human rights” official, said in January, according to Iran’s Tasnim News.
The odds that Iran will be able to force any of the defendants in these cases to abide by the nation’s rulings are low, as the trials are occurring in absentia and would require the government of leftist President Joe Biden to extradite Trump, Pompeo, and the others implicated. Iran is a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism and has no extradition treaty with Washington.