Argentina ask Russia to arrest Iran official over 1994 bombing

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to Iran supreme leader, during a meeting at the Novo-Ogarevo residence, outside Moscow, on July 12, 2018. — AFP pic
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy advisor to Iran supreme leader, during a meeting at the Novo-Ogarevo residence, outside Moscow, on July 12, 2018. — AFP pic

BUENOS AIRES, July 13 — Argentina has asked Russia to arrest former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati for extradition in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

Velayati is in Russia as a special advisor to President Hassan Rouhani and will travel to China today, so the same request has also been made to Chinese authorities, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Argentina is awaiting a response from Russia to the request, which was made “within the framework of the extradition treaty between the two countries,” the statement said.

Velayati was foreign minister when a bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) on July 18, 1994 leaving 85 dead and 300 people wounded.

He is charged with “committing the crime of homicide, classified as doubly aggravated for having been committed with racial or religious hatred and a suitable method to cause widespread danger,” according to the judge responsible for the case.

Lebanon’s Shiah Hezbollah group is accused of the carrying out the bombing of the Jewish center and an attack on Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires two years earlier at Iran’s demand. — AFP

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