Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hunt for Iranians who mass-murdered Jews in Argentina 

Interpol may help nab Iranian suspects in JCC bomb

By The Associated Press
Wed., March 07, 2007 Adar 17, 5767

PARIS - Interpol will discuss next week whether to issue "red notices," or international wanted requests, calling for the arrest of nine former prominent Iranian officials sought in connection with Argentina's worst terrorist attack.

The nine wanted in Argentina in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center there include former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani, as well as Iran's former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian.

Argentina has requested help from Interpol in the case, while Iran has denied any involvement in the bombing and said it would oppose any attempt to detain Iranian citizens. Both countries are member countries of the France-based international police agency.

Mark Giles, Interpol's chief press officer, said the body's executive committee will take up the dispute March 13-15.

At that point they will either come up with a decision or potentially refer it to the general assembly, which meets next year, Giles said.

A red notice is an Interpol request that a wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition. While the measure cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, people with red notice status appear on Interpol's equivalent of a most-wanted list.

At the meeting next week, Interpol experts will hear arguments from both Iran and Argentina, he said. They will also take into account a report by Interpol's office of legal affairs.

Eighty-five people were killed and 200 wounded when a van packed with explosives blew up outside the seven-story Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994.

In 2006, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral said he was seeking the detentions of Rafsanjani and eight other Iranian officials for the bombing. Argentine prosecutors have alleged that the attack was orchestrated by leaders of the Iranian government and entrusted to Hezbollah.

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