Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Iran minister accused of planning Argentina Jewish center bombing told to leave Bolivia

from Haaretz

Bolivia said on Tuesday it had taken steps to ensure that Iran's defense minister, who is accused by Argentina of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center that killed 85 people, leaves Bolivia immediately.

The statement came in a letter from Bolivia's foreign minister to his counterpart in Argentina, which said the Iranian minister, Ahmad Vahidi, was in Bolivia at the invitation of the country's Defense Ministry.


The Jewish communities in both Argentina and Bolivia had protested the visit, calling it a provocation.

Vahidi enjoys diplomatic immunity, which complicates efforts to bring him to trial although in 2007 Interpol notified law enforcement bodies in other countries of an Argentine arrest warrant against him.

Bolivia's leftist president, Evo Morales, has close ties with Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez, who last year proposed that a third country be nominated by Tehran to host the trial of those accused of being involved in the bombing.

Iran rejected the idea, saying none of its citizens were involved. Iran's state news agency IRNA said Vahidi had visited Mauritania and held talks with the African state's president before traveling to Bolivia.

Guillermo Borges, the AMIA's current president, called Vahidi's visit to Bolivia "a provocation."

Ahmad Vahidi - Reuters - April 18, 2011

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