Report: Iran's Rohani tied to AMIA 1994 bombing

Indictment by Argentine government investigating bombing says Iranian president connected to decision to launch attack.

June 20, 2013 10:14
1 minute read.
Bombing of Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), killing 85 people, in July 18, 1994

1994 Argentina bomb site 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian/Files)

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani was on the special Iranian government committee that plotted the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, The Washington Free Beacon reported, citing an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case.

According to a 2006 indictment, the decision to launch the attack in Argentina was made within a special operations committee connected to the powerful Supreme National Security Council in August 1993.

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According to the report, former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi testified in 2006 that Rohani was a member of the special committee, as he was then serving as secretary of the council.

“With regard to the committee’s role in the decision to carry out the AMIA attack, Moghadam stated that this decision was made under the direction of Ali Khamenei, and that the other members of the committee were [then-Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, Mir Hejazi, Rohani, Velayati and Fallahijan,” the Free Beacon quoted the indictment as saying.

According to the indictment, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei led the special committee, and Khamenei and Rafsanjani made the ultimate decision to go ahead with the attack.

Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the bombing, which killed 85 and injured 300, and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah of carrying it out. No arrests have been made in the case.

Six Iranians have been on Interpol ’s most wanted list since 2007 in connection with the bombing, including the current defense minister, Gen. Ahmed Vahidi.

The report offers an intriguing window into the past thinking of Rohani, widely seen as a moderate or pragmatic conservative, whose surprise victory in weekend elections to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was perceived by the United States and other Western powers as positive - at least at first glance.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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