EU lawmakers under fire for inviting Khamenei ally

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who has close ties to former minister wanted for 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, to speak at EU parliament.

Elad Benari,

Alaeddin Boroujerdi
Alaeddin Boroujerdi
Reuters

European lawmakers are under fire for inviting a senior Iranian official who may be implicated in the deadly 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires to the European Parliament, the Israel Hayom newspaper reports.

The official, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, is the chairman of the Iranian Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security. He has been invited to appear before the EU Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday to discuss Iran-related issues.

According to the European Parliament, his testimony will cover "the Iranian position on regional developments, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the 2015 nuclear deal] and the current political situation in Iran."

Boroujerdi is considered to be a close confidant of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has close ties with the senior leadership of Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy in the region. In recent weeks, he has advocated a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

He is a strong advocate of Iran's ballistic missile program, and just last week made clear the Islamic Republic will not step back from this program while describing U.S. President Donald Trump as “the most hated president of the American history whose hatred has crossed U.S. geological boundaries and become a global phenomenon.”

In the past, Boroujerdi threatened Israel, particularly after an airstrike in the Syrian Golan Heights in which an Iranian officer was killed.

According to Iranian exiles in Europe, Boroujerdi has ties to Iran's former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, who is on Interpol's wanted list for his alleged role in the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, which killed more than 80 people.

"Boroujerdi is one of Velayati's closest aides, and since he is fluent in Arabic, there is no doubt that he was in contact with people who were involved in the terrorist attack," an Iranian national told Israel Hayom.

Boroujerdi will also take part in a seminar on counterterrorism on Wednesday. The seminar will be held at the request of Iranian officials, and will focus on "joint interests."

Sources at the European Parliament said that his appearance before the committee on Tuesday represents the EU's efforts to show its unwavering commitment to preserving the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Boroujerdi's appearance has also sparked controversy among lawmakers in the EU Parliament. Anders Primdahl Vistisen, a Danish member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the parliament and representative of the Dansk Folkepart party, demanded that Boroujerdi be disinvited because of Iran's involvement in terrorism.

"The EU responded very weakly when Iran began to crack down on protesters," Vistisen told Israel Hayom. "The EU does not scrutinize Iran and it has now become abundantly clear that it wants to help Iran counter the American efforts to undo the nuclear agreement."

This is not the first time that the EU has been criticized for the guests it invites to the European Parliament.

In September, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled took part in an event at the European Parliament in Brussels titled “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance.” The event was organized by far-left Spanish MEPs.

Following the outcry over her attendance, the President of the EU Parliament Antonio Tajani announced that representatives of terrorist organizations or former terrorists would no longer be allowed to participate in events in parliament.


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