Argentine officials condemn Iranian bomber’s nomination


BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentine officials and international organizations have protested the nomination of a man wanted in the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing to become Iran’s defense minister.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s nomination on Thursday of Ahmad Vahidi has angered democratic societies as he is one of five Iranians wanted by Argentine authorities for planning the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people. An international arrest warrant has been issued by Interpol for his participation in planning and financing the bombing.

Inside the Iranian government, the naming of 21 new ministers still has to be approved. Some names on the list might not pass muster, according to reports, since legislators have already intimated that they see Ahmadinejad as having made loyalty more of a priority than experience.

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, in charge of the special unit investigating the AMIA attack, called the nomination “grave.” Jewish central institutions,
as well as Jewish organizations including the Latin American B’nai B’rith and the Anti-Defamation League have criticized the appointment.

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