Thursday, May 23, 2024

Iran Blasts Argentina’s ‘Illegal’ Bid to Arrest Minister Over 1994 Bombing

HomeWARIran Blasts Argentina's 'Illegal' Bid to Arrest Minister Over 1994 Bombing

Iran has forcefully denounced Argentina’s move to request Interpol arrest its interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, over charges linked to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

In a fiery statement on Wednesday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani blasted what he termed “illegal requests based on lies” from Argentine judges about Iranian nationals in the AMIA bombing case. He accused Argentina of making “baseless accusations” against Iranian citizens.

“We strongly condemn the repetition of these illegal requests…by some Argentine judges about Iranian nationals in the AMIA case,” Kanani stated. His rebuke highlights longstanding tensions between Tehran and Buenos Aires over the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) nearly three decades ago.

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The condemnation comes after an Argentine court earlier this month blamed Iran for both the 1994 AMIA attack and a 1992 bombing on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people. Argentina’s foreign ministry said it asked Interpol to issue a red notice arrest warrant for Vahidi when he was part of an Iranian delegation visiting Pakistan and Sri Lanka this week.

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However, Iranian state media reported Vahidi had already returned home by Tuesday after attending an official ceremony. A Sri Lankan official also said Vahidi was not listed as part of the Iranian group that landed in Colombo on Wednesday.

In his statement, Kanani alleged some parties were trying to undermine improved Argentina-Iran ties and were “influenced by the enemies” of the bilateral relationship. He claimed Iran “supports the execution of justice” in the AMIA case but insisted the accusations against its citizens “lacked any validity.”

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The 1994 bombing, which Argentina has blamed on Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants, caused extensive damage to the AMIA building and ranks among the deadliest attacks on a Jewish center worldwide since World War II. Tehran has steadfastly denied involvement, leading to repeated flare-ups with Buenos Aires over the investigation and prosecution of suspects.

The latest developments indicate the AMIA case remains a major irritant between Iran and Argentina after nearly 30 years. With passions inflamed over Vahidi’s travel, resolving disagreements over responsibility for the bombing seems as distant as ever.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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