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Israel condemns appointment of wanted Iranian terrorist as interior minister

Two of Raisi's cabinet choices have ties to Iranian terror groups

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Photo: Mehr News Agency via Wikimedia Commons) and Ahmad Vahidi, Iran's newly-appointed interior minister (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned on Wednesday the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s controversial decision to appoint Ahmad Vahidi as Iran’s new interior minister. 

Vahidi, a former defense minister and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, has been wanted by the international law enforcement organization Interpol since 2007 for his alleged involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. The American government put Vahidi on its blacklist in 2010. 

In an official statement on Twitter, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat urged the international community to denounce Vahidi’s appointment and Iran’s “terror government.” 

“This is the face of Iran’s new terror government led by president Raisi, who is responsible for the murder of thousands of Iranians,” Haiat wrote. 

The bombing of the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires was one of the most deadly anti-Semitic attacks in modern times and one of the worst terrorist attacks ever perpetrated in South America. Lebanese suicide bomber Ibrahim Hussein Berro drove a car with the powerful bomb to the Jewish community building. Berro was reportedly employed by Hezbollah, a powerful Iranian terrorist proxy based in Lebanon. Several other Hezbollah and Iranian terrorist operatives reportedly assisted Berro in the terrorist operation. 

In 1992, two years before the attack on the Jewish community center, the Israeli embassy in Argentina was targeted in a similar suicide bombing attack, that killed 30 people and injured 242 civilians. The two attacks in Buenos Aires are assumed to be linked and the Argentinian government issued an arrest warrant for Imad Mughniyah, a senior Hezbollah commander who was later killed by Israeli Mossad and American CIA in Syria in 2008. 

Mughniyah was reportedly also responsible for the Beirut barracks bombing and U.S. embassy bombing in 1983, which claimed more than 350 lives. Prior to his death, Mughniyah was on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list. Alongside the Iranian terrorist commander Qassim Soleimani who was assassinated by U.S. forces in 2020, Mughniyah was considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the Middle East. 

In addition to the appointment of Vahidi, Iran’s new radical president Raisi also nominated the extremist diplomat Hossein Amirabdollahian to the senior post of foreign minister. In the past, Amirabdollahian served as deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs under the former Holocaust-denying Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Amirabdollahian reportedly has close ties to Hezbollah and is a radical opponent of the West. 

It is not clear how nuclear negotiations between Iran and the Western powers will be affected if Amirabdollahian indeed becomes Iran’s next foreign minister. 

As with anything of importance in Iran, it is ultimately up to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei to approve all nominations. While Khamenei is known as a radical opponent of the West and the Jewish state, his regime is simultaneously facing increasing protests against the oppressive regime and living conditions in Iran. 

With Iran’s economy due to free fall, Tehran has indicated that it seeks to renegotiate a nuclear agreement that would remove the international sanctions and reduce the pressure on the regime. 

Read more: IRAN

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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