Iran

Argentina Requests Extradition of Former Iranian FM for Role in 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Argentina has requested the extradition of Iran’s former foreign minister due to his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aries, Agence France-Presse reported Friday.

The extradition of Ali Akbar Velayati, currently a close advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was sent by Investigating Judge Rodolfo Canicoba to the government of Iraq, where Velayati is currently visiting. Canicoba made similar requests to Singapore and Malaysia when Velayati visited those nations in July.

Argentinian authorities suspect five senior Iranian officials, including Velayati and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of being involved in the bombing, which killed 85 people and is the deadliest-ever terror attack on Argentinian soil.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was charged with investigating the AMIA bombing, died of a gunshot wound to the head in January 2015 under mysterious circumstances. In March, a three-judge panel unanimously referred the inquiry into Nisman’s death to a federal court to be investigated as a political murder.

Nisman was also investigating a pact made by then-Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to jointly investigate the bombing with Iranian authorities. Nisman alleged that Kircher and other senior Argentinian authorities were engaged in a quid pro quo to cover up Iran’s involvement in the bombing in exchange for favorable trade deals. He died shortly before he was due to present his proof to the national congress.

A court later declared that the joint investigation was unconstitutional. New president Mauricio Macri, who was elected last December, said that he would not renew the agreement to jointly investigate the bombing.

In Can Argentina’s New Government Deliver Justice for Its Victims of Iranian Terror?, which was published in the January 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Eamonn MacDonagh examined the possibility that the Macri government would bring the perpetrators of the AMIA to justice as well as the obstacles it would face in doing so.

[Photo: Fars News ]