Argentina issued a statement on Wednesday in which it “repudiates” the decision of the Government of Iran to nominate Ahmad Vahidi as interior minister, wanted by the Argentine justice system for the 1994 attack on the Jewish mutualist AMIA.
“Argentina expresses, once again, its strongest condemnation of the nomination of Ahmad Vahidi to a ministerial post in Iran,” the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
For the Government of Alberto Fernández, Vahidi’s new nomination to hold a position in the Iranian Government constitutes an “affront” to the Argentine justice system and to the victims of the “brutal terrorist attack” perpetrated on 18 July 1994 against the headquarters of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died.
The communique notes that, as happened in August 2009, when Vahidi was nominated to occupy the post of defense minister, his new nomination has been “received with grave concern and deserves the strongest condemnation” from the Argentine government.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry recalled that Vahidi is wanted by the Justice of the South American country for his “key participation in the decision-making and planning of the attack” against the AMIA and that he is the subject of an international arrest warrant from Interpol.
The Argentine Executive affirmed that it “demands once again” the Government of Iran to cooperate “fully” with the Argentine justice system, “allowing the people who have been accused of participating in the attack against the AMIA to be tried by the competent courts.”
The AMIA also released a statement on Wednesday in which it “strongly condemns and repudiates” Vahidi’s appointment.
“The appointment made by the newly elected president of Iran is unacceptable, and as expressed today by the Argentine Foreign Ministry, it constitutes an affront to the Argentine justice system and to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack,” the mutualist said.
The entity recalled that, at the time of the AMIA blast, Vahidi was head of the Quds Force, the paramilitary arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“Since 2007, Vahidi – accused by the Argentine justice system of having been responsible for the terrorist attack against our institution – has been wanted by Interpol and is being held by red alerts and extradition requests to testify in our country,” the statement said.
The AMIA said that the Argentine justice system has proven the “intellectual and material responsibility” for the attack on its headquarters by Iranian “citizens and officials” and the terrorist group Hezbollah.
“To see how those accused of having participated in a crime against humanity, in which 85 people were killed and more than 300 were injured, continue to enjoy impunity and, in addition, are rewarded with high political positions in their country, is painfully unacceptable,” the entity said.
The attack on the AMIA headquarters was the second of the terrorist attacks against Jewish interests in Argentina, as in 1992 a bomb exploded in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people. EFE