Argentina asks Russia to arrest Khamenei adviser

Argentine federal judge investigating 1994 AMIA bombing asks Russia to arrest Ali Akbar Velayati, suspected of involvement in the attack.

Elad Benari,

Ali Akbar Velayati
Ali Akbar Velayati
Reuters

An Argentine federal judge investigating the 1994 bombing at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires has asked Russian officials to arrest a high-level Iranian adviser to the country’s supreme leader in connection with the attack, JTA reported on Wednesday.

Alí Akbar Velayati was scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Moscow. Velayati, who was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the terrorist attack and has been implicated in ordering the bombing, is now an adviser on international affairs to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He is one of the special envoys that Iran is sending to various countries in response to the U.S. withdrawal earlier this year from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Following news reports of his visit to Moscow, Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral requested the arrest of Velayati.

There has been an international arrest warrant against Velayati and seven other Iranian officials since 2006.

Argentine investigators accuse Velayati and four other Iranian former officials, including ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of orchestrating the July 18, 1994 car bombing in which 85 people were murdered.

The Iranians are accused of ordering Hezbollah to carry out the bombing, the deadliest terror attack in the South American country's history.

Iran denies involvement and has repeatedly rejected Argentine demands for the accused to testify.

In October, Argentina unsuccessfully asked Iraq to extradite Velayati, after having previously asked Singapore and Malaysia to extradite him.

Iran also is believed to be behind the 1992 car bombing that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring 242.








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