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'Assassins' Plotting To Kill Soleimani To Be Tried Soon, Says Iran Prosecutor

The head of the Revolutionary Guard's foreign wing, or Qods Force, Gen. Qassim Soleimani attends a meeting of a group of the Guard members with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran, October 2, 2019

The prosecutor of Kerman in southeastern Iran says members of a team who were planning to assassinate IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani are to be tried soon.

Kerman Prosecutor Dadkhoda Salari told reporters on Tuesday October 8 that "these individuals will be tried on the charges of acting against national security, fighting God and helping foreign secret services."

The charge of "fighting God" can entail the death sentence for the suspects.

Iranian intelligence officials have on many occasions made unproven claims about crushing terrorist bands but have never offered any evidence and often there has been no trial after similar statements.

It was revealed last month that over a hundred people who were jailed for years, tortured, and in one case executed on bogus charges of assassinating Iran's nuclear scientists in the 2010s, were all cleared of the charges and the case was declared to be made up to lend credibility to Iran's intelligence and security forces.

On October 3, IRGC-linked Fars news agency reported that an attempt to assassinate the IRGC's Qods Force Chief Commander, Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani had been foiled.

Citing the head of the IRGC"s fearsome Intelligence Organization, Hossein Taeb (Ta'eb), Fars said, three agents on the payroll of foreign governments were arrested for the plot. However, Taeb did not identify the alleged suspects but claimed that they were hired by "Hebrew-Arab" intelligence services, apparently meaning Saudi and Israeli agents.

According to Taeb, the alleged assassins had plotted to plant a bomb underneath a place where Soleimani was to be present to mark the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam.

However, Soleimani is a shadowy character who usually avoids public appearance and his presence is limited to military operation theaters and high-level meetings with state officials.