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Argentina judge orders arrest of former Iranian president

[JURIST] Argentina federal judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral on Thursday authorized the arrest of former Iran President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [BBC profile; official website, in Persian] and eight other Iranian officials for their alleged roles the AMIA Jewish cultural center bombing [Wikipedia backgrounder, BBC report] that killed 85 people and wounded over 200 more in Buenos Aries in 1994. Prosecutors claim [JURIST report] that Iranian officials authorized the bombing while members of Hezbollah [BBC backgrounder] actually carried out the attack. Iran [JURIST news archive] has repeatedly denied having a role [BBC report] in the bombing's planning and execution and the Iranian foreign ministry described the decision as "a Zionist plot." The other Iranian officials sought for detention include former intelligence chief Ali Fallahijan, former Foreign Minister Ali Ar Velayati, two former commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, two former Iranian diplomats and a former Hezbollah security chief for external affairs.

Argentina [JURIST news archive], which is home to more Jewish people than any other Latin American nation, has yet to convict anyone in connection to the 1994 attack or an attack two years prior that destroyed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and killed 29 people. Rafsanjani was president of Iran from 1989 to 1997, and is now the head of the Expediency Council, which serves as a mediator between Iran's parliament and clerics, who can block legislation. AP has more.

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