New Iran Defense Minister Wanted in '94 Attack on Argentina Jewish Center

[Washington Times] Eli Lake - Ahmad Vahidi, nominated Thursday by President Ahmadinejad to serve as Iran's defense minister, is a suspected international terrorist sought by Interpol in connection with a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish community center in Argentina. Vahidi, a former commander of the elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force, was listed with four other Iranian officials on Interpol's most-wanted list in 2007 at the request of Argentine prosecutors. Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst at the Congressional Research Service, said Vahidi is also suspected of having played a role in a 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers U.S. Air Force barracks in Saudi Arabia. "Vahidi was commander of the Quds Force during the late 1980s to early 1990s, and his choice certainly sends a very strong signal that Ahmadinejad plans to continue, and maybe even accelerate, Iran's material support for pro-Iranian parties and militias in the region," Katzman said. Vahidi's "reputed intimate involvement in various acts of terrorism, particularly against Argentina and the United States, makes his selection especially flagrant," said Kenneth Piernick, a former chief of the FBI's Iran-Hizbullah unit. "This does not look like an unclenched fist." Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the elevation of Vahidi "is reflective of the hard-line nature of the new Cabinet." "This should heighten concerns about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons," he added.

2009-08-21 08:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive