A burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport following a US airstrike which targeted Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad, Iraq, early Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. (AP)

December 31, 2020

Tehran’s prosecutor-general accused UK security company G4S of playing a role in the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by an American drone strike in January, the judiciary’s official Mizan news agency reported.

“One of the significant issues in this case is the role of the British firm G4S in the assassination of [Soleimani]… the firm was responsible for providing security at Baghdad airport. As soon as Soleimani and his comrades arrived at the airport, employees of the company provided information about them to the terrorists,” said Ali Al-Qasi Mehr.

G4S, which has been responsible for securing Baghdad International Airport since 2010, rejected the claim as “completely unfounded speculation” in a statement to Bloomberg.

“G4S wishes to make clear that it had absolutely no involvement in the attack on Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,” Bloomberg cited G4S as saying.

The accusation comes days ahead of the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in US drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, which also killed leading Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Iran had vowed to avenge Soleimani’s death. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had said harsh revenge awaited the “criminals” who killed Soleimani and that his death, though bitter, would double the motivation of the resistance against the United States and Israel.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have been increasing since 2018 when US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, reached historic heights in January when the US killed Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Al Arabiya

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.