IRAN

Ahmadinejad Taps Wanted Defense Minister

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated Ahmad Vahidi, a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, to head the country’s defense ministry, despite Vahidi's questionable past. Vahidi has been on Interpol’s “red notice” since November 2007 for his alleged involvement in a 1994 car bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people and injured 150. It became the worst attack on a Jewish target outside Israel since World War II. The red notice is not an arrest warrant, but is occasionally interpreted by the police organization’s member nations as a request to detain the suspect. Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who led the investigation into the 1994 bombing, said Vahidi, currently Iran's deputy defense minister, was a “key participant” in planning the attack. “Iran has always protected terrorists, giving them government posts,” Nisman told the Associated Press. “But I think never one as high as this one.”