In Message Directed at Iran, Argentina Demands Justice for Perpetrators of Deadly 1990s Bombings

By Patrick Goodenough | September 21, 2017 | 4:14 AM EDT

Argentina's Vice President Gabriela Michetti addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. (UN Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Hours after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday his country was “on the frontlines of fighting terror,” Argentina’s vice president reminded the world that her country still has a 23-year-old score to settle with Tehran – over the deadliest terror attack in its history.

After expressing condolences for the victims of terror everywhere, Gabriela Michetti said “we know that of which we speak,” and recalled the suicide truck bombings that targeted the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, and the Argentine-Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish community center two years later.

“I wish to reiterate the will of the Republic of Argentina to bring to justice all those who participated in the financing, planning, preparation or commission of the terrorist attacks,” she said.

Eighty-five people died in the AMIA bombing, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina’s history. Twenty-nine were killed when the embassy was attacked.

Argentinean investigators linked both bombings to Iran and its Shi’ite terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, expelling Iranian diplomats in connection with the attacks.

In 2006 Argentina issued arrest warrants for eight senior Iranian officials and a Lebanese national in connection with the AMIA bombing in particular.

Michetti said the ongoing investigation into the AMIA “calls for the appearance of the accused at a hearing.”

“We do not want another 20 years to pass without justice being done,” she said. “This is why we call on the international community to support us in our request to the Islamic Republic of Iran, for cooperation in clarifying and shedding light on this terrorist act.”

Iran has long denied involvement in the attack, calling the allegations part of a “Zionist” conspiracy.

Of the nine men wanted by Argentina in connection with the AMIA blast, seven remain at large.

The other two are former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died last January, and Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist chief Imad Mughniyah, an FBI most-wanted terrorist who was killed in a bomb blast in Damascus in 2008.

The seven still at large are:

--Then-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who is today supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top foreign policy advisor, and a member of the Expediency Council, a body that advises the supreme leader;

--Iran’s then-ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour;

--Then-Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps chief Mohsen Rezai, who is now secretary of the Expediency Council;

--Then-intelligence chief Ali Fallahijan;

--Then-commander of an IRGC Quds Force special operations unit, Ahmad Vahidi, who later served as defense minister and is now a member of the Expediency Council; and

--Mohsen Rabbani and Ahmad Reza Asghari, both senior officials based at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires at the time of the bombing.

At Argentina’s request, Interpol in 2007 issued “red notices” – the closest thing the policing organization has to international arrest warrants – pertaining to Rezai, Fallahijan, Vahidi, Rabbani and Asghari (as well as to the now-deceased Mughniyah).


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Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow