Interpol denies issuing international arrest warrant against Vahidi

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Jerusalem, Sep. 8 (ANI): Interpol has denied issuing an international arrest warrant for Iran's new Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi, who is suspected of masterminding the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish centre bomb blast that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more.

However, it said Vahidi is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice.

"A Red Notice, or an international alert for a wanted person, is not an international arrest warrant. It is one of the ways in which Interpol informs its 187 member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a national judicial authority, in this case Argentina," The Jerusalem Post quoted an Interpol statement, as saying.

"The Red Notice against Mr. Vahidi was published in November 2007 at the request of the authorities in Argentina, where he is wanted on the basis of his alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing," the statement read.

"Interpol's role has been to notify the international law enforcement community that multiple arrest warrants were issued by an Argentinian judge, including one for Mr. Vahidi."

"Interpol respects the sovereignty and independence of each of its 187 member countries, and any decision to arrest or not arrest a person who is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice is made by each individual member country," it added.

Earlier this month, General Vahidi, a former commander of Revolutionary Guard's foreign operations wing, was approved by the Iranian parliament to become defence minister with an overwhelming support.

Vahidi described his appointment as a "decisive slap to Israel."

Argentina 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".

Iranian spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi has denied any involvement by the Islamic Republic in the atrocity, saying, "Argentinean authorities may say whatever they want, but they have been incapable of presenting, in 15 years, a valid or convincing reason for linking Iran with the bombing against AMIA." (ANI)

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