October 26, 2006

Iran, Hezbollah Charged for Argentine Bombings

(Buenos Aires, Argentina) Argentina has made an international call for action against former leaders of the government of Iran and the leadership of Hezbollah. It's about time.

Iran is accused of organizing attacks against the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) charities group and the Israeli Embassy which claimed more than 100 lives and wounded hundreds more. Hezbollah is accused of carrying out the attacks.

The Argentine prosecutor demanded international arrest warrants for:

- Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian President,

- Hojatoleslam Ali Fallahian, former Iranian Minister of Intelligence and Security,

- Ali Akbar Velayati, former Iranian Foreign Minister,

- Major General Mohsen Rezai, ex-Supreme Commander, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC),

- Major General Ahmad Vahidi, former Commander of the IRGC Qods Force,

- Mohsen Rabbani, former cultural attache at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires,

- Ahmad Reza Asgari, AKA Mohsen Ranjbaran, former Iranian embassy official in Buenos Aires,

- Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, AKA Imad Fayez Moughnieh, headed the Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah overseas operation.

According to Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman, "We have proven that the decision to attack the AMIA headquarters on July 18, 1994 ... was a decision made by the highest authorities in Iran's government at the time." A 21-year-old Hezbollah bomber, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen, was positively identified as the man who drove the explosives-packed van to the Jewish center on July 18, 1994.

The 300,000-strong Argentine Jewish community has been loudly demanding justice for over a decade for the 1992 embassy bombing and the 1994 Jewish center bombing. All along, the investigations of the terrorist acts were allegedly marred by corrupt police and government officials. In particular, former Argentine leader Carlos Saul Menem was allegedly funneled $10 million in a Swiss bank account by Iranian intelligence to cease the investigations into the attacks.

Response from Iran via IHT.com:

Iranian state TV news said Thursday that Argentine prosecutors had "repeated their baseless accusations" of Iran's "meddling" in the 1994 explosion, but the newscaster did not say that Rafsanjani or any other Iranian official had been named.
Iranian TV did not cover the Argentine chief prosecutor's remarks and no Iranian newspapers were published today due to an Islamic feast.

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