Demand Iranian suspects’ extradition to Argentina, Wiesenthal Center urges


BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged the presidents of four Latin American countries to demand the extradition to Argentina of the Iranians implicated in the 1994 terrorist attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish center.

Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela are playing host this week to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Two Argentine presidents have accused Iran from the U.N. General Assembly podium of complicity in the worst anti-Semitic pogrom since the Holocaust, leaving 85 dead and hundreds maimed," Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director of international relations for the Wiesenthal Center, wrote in letters to Presidents Raul Castro of Cuba, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. "It is high time that Argentine arrest warrants, endorsed by INTERPOL, against seven Iranian citizens — including current Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi — be honored."

Sergio Widder, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for Latin America, added that “We urge the host countries to show Latin American solidarity and stress to the Iranian president their support for Argentina’s extradition request. We also call on their leaders to condemn Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial and genocidal threats against Israel.”

Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah of carrying out the attack, but no arrests have been made in the case. Six Iranians have been on the Interpol international police agency’s most wanted list since 2007 in connection with the bombing, including Vahidi.

"To honor this hatemonger with impunity renders his hosts complicit in his hate crimes,” the Wiesenthal Center said.

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