Interpol arrest warrant against former Iranian Defence Minister ‘still valid’ despite nuclear deal, says EU spokesperson

The bomb attack against the headquarters of AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina)The bomb attack against the headquarters of AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina)

A spokesperson at the European External Action Service (EEAS) has confirmed that Interpol’s arrest warrant against a former Iranian Defence Minister, Ahmad Vahimi, sought for his alleged involvement in the bomb attack against a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in 1994,  is still valid.

The bomb attack against the headquarters of AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina), the country’s worst terror attack, claimed the lives of 85 people.

Vahimi was serving as the commander of a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force when the attack occurred. He is one of five Iranians sought in the bombing.  The recent nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1 world powers (US, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran), if implemented, will result in a dismantling of the Iranian nuclear programme in return for a lifting of the economic sanctions against the country.

The eventual lifting of the EU sanctions against Iran does also include the lifting of sanctions against Iranian individuals, such as Ahmad Vahimi.  The EU sanctions were imposed in 2008 in the context of the Iran Weapons of Mass Destructions (WMD) sanctions regime.

According to recent reports in media, EU is committed, under the terms of the agreement with Iran, to remove Vahimi from its sanction list.

“However, this has no implication whatsoever on the Interpol warrant against Mr. Ahmad Vahimi who continues to remain in force,” the spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy at the EEAS told The Brussels Times.

“The EU continues to support Argentina in its quest to fully clarify the attack of 1994 and to bring those responsible for the attack to justice,” the spokesperson said.

A special prosecutor in Argentina has accused Iran’s government of executing the AMIA attack, using operatives from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Since 2007, Interpol has sought five Iranian politicians and military officers for their alleged role in the bombing.

The special Argentinian prosecutor of the case, Albert Nisman was found dead in January of this year under mysterious circumstances, in a case that many Argentine politicians have alleged was a politically motivated assassination. He died  days after announcing he would reveal evidence accusing the country’s highest authorities of complicity with Iran in covering up the AMIA bombing.

Iran denies that it was involved.