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Press Release - JINSA Says Iran’s Promotion of Terror Suspect A Calculated Signal to the Obama Administration

WASHINGTON -- By nominating one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, Ahmad Vahidi, to be Iran's defense minister, the Iranian government once again served notice to the world that it is not interested in reforming its reputation as the world’s foremost state sponsor of international terrorism, declared the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Said Tom Neumann, JINSA's executive director: "This calculated move is a very public slap in the face to the West. There can be no clearer signal to the Obama Administration that Iran is not interested in peaceful relations or engaging in meaningful discussions related to its pursuit of nuclear weapons or support for terrorism."

On August 19, Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced that Vahidi was nominated to be Iran's defense minister. Vahidi is wanted by Interpol for his role in the July 18, 1994 suicide bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina (AMIA), which killed 85 and wounded 240.

Ahmadinejad sent the Iranian parliament a list of 21 proposed cabinet ministers including Vahidi. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the nominees on September 1.

It has been reported that Vahidi was commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force (tasked with carrying out foreign operations) at the time of the AMIA bombing. The U.S. and UK governments have accused the Qods Force of facilitating violence by Shi’ite militias against coalition forces in Iraq, particularly by providing IEDs.

Jewish Institute for National Security of America
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