Suspected mastermind of Buenos Aires bombing set to become Iran's Defence Minister

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Tehran, Sep. 2 (ANI): The suspected mastermind of Argentina's worst terrorist attack is set to become Iran's defence minister.

General Ahmad Vahidi, a wanted by Interpol for masterminding Buenos Aires Jewish centre bomb blast in 1994 that claimed 85 lives, looks ready to assume his new role after Iranian parliament signalled that it would confirm the provocative choice.

General Vahidi, a former commander of Revolutionary Guard's foreign operations wing, is one of five Iranians sought in the deadly bombing.

Buenos Aires has called General Vahidi's probable inclusion in Ahmadinejad's new Cabinet "an affront to Argentine justice and to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack".

US President Barack Obama has termed Vahidi's inclusion in the Cabinet as "disturbing".

International opposition, however, seems only to have strengthened his chances.

One Member of Parliament, Hadi Qavami, said that he had initially opposed the nomination but changed his mind after "the Zionists' allegations" and would now vote for him.

The chairman of the Iranian foreign policy committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said the allegations "will not have any negative impact on the assessment" of General Vahidi's suitability for the job.

"Rather, it may increase his vote," he noted.

Wednesday 's vote on the full Cabinet line-up of 26 ministers is a key test of remaining support for Ahmadinejad after the bruising election dispute.

He has faced opposition even from within the hardliner camp on several of his choices, with accusations that he is favouring slavish loyalty over qualifications for the job.

According to analysts, the Cabinet will eventually be approved, but a stormy process could damage Ahmadinejad politically at a time when Iran is embroiled in a row with the West over its nuclear programme. (ANI)

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