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Bolivia - Gov. Expels Iran Minister Accused of Planning Argentina Jewish Center Bombing

Published on: June 1, 2011 08:02 AM
By: AP
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Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, left, looks on during a military ceremony in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Vahidi, whose extradition is sought by neighboring Argentina for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, briefly visited Bolivia on Tuesday, raising tensions between the countries. (AP Photo)Iran's Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, left, looks on during a military ceremony in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Vahidi, whose extradition is sought by neighboring Argentina for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, briefly visited Bolivia on Tuesday, raising tensions between the countries. (AP Photo)

Bolivia - Iran’s defense minister, whose extradition is sought by neighboring Argentina for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, briefly visited Bolivia on Tuesday, raising tensions between the countries.

Gen. Ahmad Vahidi is wanted by Buenos Aires as an alleged mastermind of the bombing, which killed 85 people. Interpol issued a red notice for Vahidi in 2007, notifying members that Argentina was seeking his arrest.

Bolivia’s defense ministry said in a brief statement that Vahidi arrived Tuesday to help inaugurate a defense academy for members of the leftist ALBA alliance, which includes Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Some ALBA countries have close ties with Iran.

Guillermo Borger, president of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, called on Argentina’s government to file a formal protest with Bolivia.

Later Tuesday, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca wrote a letter to Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman saying that Vahidi had left the country at the request of the Bolivian government, which had invited him.

“I want to express in the name of the Government of Bolivia my deepest apologies,” the letter said.


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 Jun 01, 2011 at 09:13 AM charliehall Says:

Bolivia has a left wing government that ended diplomatic relations with Israel. Hopefully this represents the beginning of a return to sanity.

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