Iran Focus: London, Nov. 11 – On Thursday, an Argentinean federal judge issued an arrest warrant for eight Iranian officials involved in the deadly bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994. Among those sought is the former head of Irans notorious secret police. Iran Focus
London, Nov. 11 – On Thursday, an Argentinean federal judge issued an arrest warrant for eight Iranian officials involved in the deadly bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994. Among those sought is the former head of Irans notorious secret police.
The warrant was issued to Interpol for the arrest of Hojjatoleslam Ali Fallahian, who for years headed Irans Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral also ordered the detention of former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and the former commandant of the Revolutionary Guards.
The officials have been charged with “crimes against humanity” for masterminding the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 200.
This is not the first time the former intelligence chief has appeared on Interpol’s list of wanted individuals.
Fallahian, who is currently an advisor on security affairs to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a member of the Assembly of Experts, is believed to have plotted other high-profile terrorist strikes and assassination of Iranian dissidents elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East.
In 1997, a court in Berlin implicated Fallahian, Khamenei, Rafsanjani, and then-Iranian Foreign Minister Velayati in masterminding the 1992 killing of four Kurdish dissidents in a restaurant called the Mykonos.
The German court soon after issued a warrant to Interpol to arrest Fallahian.
More recently, a Swiss Investigative Magistrate issued an international arrest warrant for his role in the assassination of a prominent Iranian dissident.
The warrant issued in April 2006 by the Swiss judge called on law enforcement agencies to arrest Ali Fallahian, former Minister of Intelligence and Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran and transfer him to the Canton Vaud Prison in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fallahian was charged with masterminding the assassination of Prof. Kazem Rajavi, a renowned human rights advocate and elder brother of Iranian opposition leader Massoud Rajavi.
Kazem Rajavi, then the representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Switzerland, was gunned down in broad daylight by several MOIS agents on April 24, 1990 as he was driving to his home in Coppet, a village near Geneva.
The Swiss judges ruling added that prior to the assassination of Kazem Rajavi, Fallahian had also ordered the assassination of Massoud Rajavi.
Iranian exiles charge that the MOIS continues to have a heavy presence in Europe and has stepped up intelligence gathering operations against Iranian dissidents since hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office as President.
The latest warrant by the Argentinean judge against Fallahian and Rafsanjani could not have come at a worse time for the pair as they get set to compete in the December 15 Assembly of Experts polls.
Most of the 495 religious figures that had registered to stand in the elections have since been barred by the ultra-conservative Guardians Council.
The 86-member Assembly of Experts is an exclusively clerical body entrusted with the task of selecting the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Assembly members are elected by the public to eight-year terms. Polling was last conducted in 1998. This year the elections will coincide with the countrys municipal elections.