New York, NY, August 21, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's naming of Ahmad Vahidi as his new defense minister "a very dangerous signal to the world that Iran's official policy of support for international terrorism is alive and well."
Vahidi is one of five senior Iranian officials subject to arrest warrants issued by Interpol for their critical roles in conceiving, planning, financing, and executing the heinous 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA/DAIA Jewish community building, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 85 Argentineans and wounded hundreds more. Mr. Vahidi is a former commander of the Al-Quds force, which is an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
The designation as Defense Minister by Ahmadinejad of one of the perpetrators of the 1994 terrorist attack on the Argentinean Jewish community is a very dangerous signal to the world that Iran's official policy of support for international terrorism is alive and well.
Just a few weeks ago, we marked the 15th anniversary of the AMIA/DAIA heinous bombing and the victims and their families are still anxiously waiting for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice. Vahidi's appointment would only add to their pain.
The international community must take seriously Iran's extremist policies, its nuclear weapons development, and its efforts to export its policies and methods to Latin America, where the Islamic Regime has so far been able to expand its influence without much resistance.
ADL fights terrorism through The Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation, which is dedicated to educating the world about the deadly realities of terrorism, working to combat the threat of terrorism through educational, political and legal means.