New Iranian President’s Cabinet Pick Wanted by Interpol for AMIA Jewish Center Bombing
Iran’s incoming interior minister is the subject of one of five outstanding “red notices” issued by Interpol, the international law enforcement agency, connected with the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires in which 85 people died and hundreds more wounded.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi — who faces US sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses when he was a judge — was sworn into office on Aug. 5, replacing Hassan Rouhani following June elections.
The new leader presented his cabinet selections to Iran’s parliament on Wednesday, according to state media, naming a slew of hardline figures that included Ahmad Vahidi, a former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force who is still wanted for his role in the AMIA terror attack.
Of the original six “red notice” subjects sought for the bombing, one of them — the notorious Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh — is dead, having been killed in a 2008 car bombing in Damascus.
Along with Vahidi, the other surviving four — Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, and Mohsen Rezai — are also understood to be in Iran. Vahidi has also served as Iran’s defense minister, and was blacklisted by the United States in 2010 for ties to Iran’s nuclear and weapons of mass destruction programs.
The Interpol notices in the AMIA case were secured thanks to the efforts of Alberto Nisman, the investigating federal prosecutor who was found murdered in 2015 just before he was set to unveil accusations against former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of working with Iran to cover up the attack.
For the post of foreign minister, Raisi on Wednesday also selected Hossein Amirabdollahian, an anti-Western diplomat that could take an even tougher line in the ongoing talks with world powers over reentering the 2015 nuclear deal.
However, Reuters cited reports from semi-official Iranian media suggesting that the Supreme National Security Council, which reports directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would take over the those talks from the foreign ministry.