Iran Focus: London, Jan. 11 Key members of the United States Congress wrote a letter to the head of Interpol urging the international security agency to enforce arrest warrants issued by Argentina for several top Iranian officials implicated in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday. Iran Focus
London, Jan. 11 Key members of the United States Congress wrote a letter to the head of Interpol urging the international security agency to enforce arrest warrants issued by Argentina for several top Iranian officials implicated in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.
In a letter sent on Wednesday to Secretary General of Interpol Ronald K. Noble, committee chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Ranking Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) suggested that the agency, which processes arrest warrants issued by member governments, appeared to have taken the unusual step of undertaking its own review of the evidence.
“Interpol should act expeditiously and assist Argentina to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of terror. Anything less than full cooperation undermines Interpol’s essential mission”, Ros-Lehtinen said.
“Now that Argentina has finally gotten to the bottom of this heinous crime, Interpol should be doing everything to see justice done, not delayed”, Lantos said.
In November, a federal judge in Argentina issued an international arrest warrant for senior Iranian officials, including former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, for masterminding the deadly bombing which left 85 people dead and 300 others injured.
The federal judge called on Interpol to arrest the following individuals:
Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian President, currently chairs Irans State Expediency Council and is deputy chair of the Assembly of Experts
Hojatoleslam Ali Fallahian, former Iranian Minister of Intelligence and Security
Ali Akbar Velayati, former Iranian Foreign Minister, currently the chief foreign policy advisor to Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Major General Mohsen Rezai, former Supreme Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is currently the secretary of the State Expediency Council
Major General Ahmad Vahidi, former Commander of the IRGC Qods Force, is currently Deputy Defence Minister
Mohsen Rabbani, former cultural attaché at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires
Ahmad Reza Asgari, alias Mohsen Ranjbaran, former official (Third Secretary) at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires
Hadi Soleimanpour, Irans former ambassador to Buenos Aires
Argentine prosecutors also sought the arrest of Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, commander of the Shiite Lebanese group Hezbollahs overseas operation. Mugniyeh is currently believed to be hiding in Iran.
The bipartisan congressional letter questioned why Interpol was taking the unusual step of investigating rather than helping to enforce legitimate arrest warrants issued by a member government.
With 186 member countries, Interpol is the world’s largest international police organisation. It facilitates cross-border police co-operation, including worldwide distribution of arrest warrants and alerts for capture issued by a member states.