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(photo credit: Courtesy)
An Israeli delegate said Wednesday afternoon that Interpol has voted to issue 'Wanted' notices for five Iranians and a Lebanese terror suspect, despite objections from Iran.
The six men are Iranians Ali Fallahian, Ahmad Vahidi, Mohsen Rabbani, Mohsen Rezaei, Ahmad Reza Asghari, and Lebanese Imad Moughnieh.
Apart from Fallahian, the Iranian fugitives are all wanted for involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
Moughnieh is a Lebanese Shi'ite considered one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
Fallahian, a middle ranking cleric, served as Iran's Intelligence Minister and has been accused of involvement in two cases of assassination. In 1997, a German court ruled that the killing of three Iranian Kurd dissidents in a Berlin restaurant had been ordered by Fallahian. Prosecutors had indicted him for the assassination, but he evaded justice by staying in Iran. The Iranian investigative journalist Akbar Ganji accused Fallahian of involvement in the 1998 murders of five political dissidents. Fallahian denied involvement. The Intelligence Ministry blamed the murders on "rogue agents" and a court convicted little-known officials of some of the killings. Fallahian graduated from a seminary in Qom that is widely seen as a breeding ground of Islamic militants. He now serves on the Experts Assembly, an elected body that is charged with appointing Iran's supreme leader.
Vahidi is regarded as the father of Iran's missile program. A general in the Revolutionary Guards, he is believed to be working in the Defense Ministry apparatus, but little information is publicly available about him.
Rabbani is a middle ranking cleric and served as the cultural attaché at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1994. Argentina accused him of involvement in the bombing and issued an international warrant for his arrest in 2003. Rabbani was also implicated in a terrorist attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992. He is no longer in government.
Rezaei led the elite Revolutionary Guards during the 1980-88 war with Iraq, later retiring from the military to enter politics. He now serves on the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates between Iran's parliament and Guardians' Council.
Asghari served as a third secretary in the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, but he is believed to have been linked to the Revolutionary Guards. It is not known whether he still works for the government.
The only non-Iranian on the Argentine list, Moughnieh is one of the most sought-after terrorist suspects in the world. The United States has put him on its list of Most Wanted terrorists with a bounty of US$25 million. He is a Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim who worked in intelligence for Hizbullah. He is wanted for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Westerners in Lebanon in the 1980s and suicide attacks on the US Embassy and a US Marine base in Lebanon - bombings that killed more than 260 Americans. His whereabouts are not known but US officials suspect he moves between Lebanon, Iran and Syria. Hizbullah officials refuse to discuss Moughnieh.