In a report released by the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel, Abdul Mahdi disclosed the details of his conversation with Trump three days before the terrorist attack.
“Trump called me on New Year’s Eve (2020) around 9:00 PM. He said that the Americans do not know the Iranians well, but the Iraqis are the ones who know them well,” Abdul Mahdi said.
“I told him that the Iranians say they are not looking for war as the US does not want it. I then suggested to Trump that he either negotiate directly with the Iranians or resort to tacit agreements like what had been reached in 2003,” he added.
“You are good negotiators. Do whatever you can in this regard. We are ready for it,” Abdul Mahdi quoted Trump as saying.
“The conversation ended at that time and there was an official agreement and invitation for martyr Soleimani to come to Iraq for consultations,” he said.
Abdul Mahdi pointed out that the assassination operations was not a decision taken in a day or two, and must have been made a long time ago, implying that Trump had made the contact and raised the request as part of the assassination plan.
“Then the Iraqi government suspended license for all flight operations (over the Iraqi sky) at the time, specially when it realized that Israel had had intrusions, and that limited everyone ,” he concluded.
Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3, 2020.
The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi military men were martyred by the missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
On January 8 and after the funeral ceremony of General Soleimani, the IRGC Aerospace Force started heavy ballistic missile attacks on US Ein Al-Assad airbase in Southwestern Iraq near the border with Syria and a US operated airbase in Erbil in retaliation for the US assassination of General Soleimani.
Ein Al-Assad is an airbase with a 4km runway at 188m altitude from sea levels, which is the main and the largest US airbase in Iraq. Early reports said the radar systems and missile defense shields in Ein Al-Assad failed to operate and intercept the Iranian missiles. Unofficial reports said the US army’s central radar systems at Ein Al-Assad had been jammed by electronic warfare.
The second IRGC reprisal attack targeted a US military base near Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in the second leg of “Martyr Soleimani” reprisal operation.
Iraq said the attacks had not taken any toll from its army men stationed at these two bases. The US army had blocked entrance into Ein Al-Assad to everyone, including the Iraqi army.
The IRGC officials said none of the missiles had been intercepted.
Meantime, Iran announced in late June that it had issued arrest warrants for 36 officials of the US and other countries who have been involved in the assassination of the martyred General Soleimani.
“36 individuals who have been involved or ordered the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including the political and military officials of the US and other governments, have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued for them by the judiciary officials and red alerts have also been issued for them via the Interpol,” Prosecutor-General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr said at the time.
He said that the prosecuted individuals are accused of murder and terrorist action, adding that US President Donald Trump stands at the top of the list and will be prosecuted as soon as he stands down presidency after his term ends.