Jewish centre asks for arrest of Iranian terrorist-suspects if they attend Rio+20
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has requested the Brazilian government “to arrest and extradite” any Iranian officials with pending arrest warrants from Interpol because of their links with a terrorist attack in Argentina, if they arrive in Brazil for the Rio+20 conference as members of the official delegation from Teheran.
The request was in a letter addressed to Brazil’s Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo and signed by Shimon Samuels, head of the Wiesenthal International Relations and Sergio Widdler, head for Latin America and delegate before the Rio+20 summit that will take place from next June 20 to 22.
“Arrest and extradite any of the Iranians in the wanted list of Interpol for their involvement in the AMIA attack, in case they are members of President Mahmaoud Ahmadineyad delegation to Rio+20”, said the letter.
The regime of Teheran has been signalled by Argentine Justice as responsible for the planning and ordering the execution of the terrorist attack against the Jewish Mutual Organization AMIA in Buenos Aires, in 1994 that killed 85 and left hundreds injured, adds the request to Brazilian authorities.
Based on this ruling Interpol has issued arrest warrants for five Iranian officials plus three more suspects of the same nationality.
“The eight are fugitive. President Ahmadinejad has protected these individuals and rejected Argentine extradition requests”, added the two Wiesenthal officers.
The list includes ”Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (former Iranian president); Ali Fallahijan (former Intelligence minister); Ali Akbar Velayati (former Foreign Affairs minister); Mohsen Rezai (former head of the Revolutionary Guards Pasdaran)”; current Defence minister Ahmad Vahidi; Mohsen Rabbani (former Cultural affairs officer at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires); Ahmad Reza Asghari (former third secretary at the Iran embassy in Buenos Aires); Hadi Soleimanpour (former Ambassador in Argentina).
”The Brazilian authorities have been alerted. We call upon them to arrest the suspects and hand them over to Argentine authorities in case any of them is identified as a member of the official Iranian delegation to Rio+20” concludes the letter.
Meanwhile on Sunday hundreds of Jews, gays and rights activists jointly marched along Rio's famed Ipanema beach Sunday to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attendance at the UN summit on sustainable development.
We want the world to know that religious hatred harms the environment and Ahmadinejad represents hatred. Sustainable development encompasses human rights, said Ivanir dos Santos, of the commission against religious intolerance.
However unlike previous demonstrations organized by the commission, which groups tens of thousands of people of all faiths, Muslims did not join Sunday's rally. Muslims do not take part in demonstrations against a fellow Muslim, even if they disagree with him, dos Santos said.
The marchers carried banners proclaiming in English Rio does not welcome Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iranians we love you.
With exuberant drumming by the cultural group Afro Reggae, they chanted Ahmadinejad out of Brazil as they paraded along Ipanema beach.
The Iranian president's visit is an opportunity to criticize his hateful speech denying the Holocaust as well as the persecution of homosexuals and Bahais, said Michel Gherman, head of the Hillel Jewish human rights movement.
The O Globo daily, meanwhile, reported Sunday that Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes cancelled the inauguration of a replica of the famed Persepolis columns offered by Iran, citing delays in the works.
The event had been scheduled for Thursday in the presence of the Iranian leader.
The Iranian president embarks this week on a tour of Latin America including stops in Brazil for the Rio+20 summit, as well as Bolivia and Venezuela, the Executive office announced in Teheran.
Ahmadinejad would stay in Brazil for two days, where he would meet world leaders on the sidelines of the summit on sustainable development, Mohammad Reza Forqani, a presidency official, told ISNA news agency.
The Iranian leader would stop in Bolivia on his way to Brazil to discuss the development of bilateral relations with his counterpart Evo Morales, said Forqani.
The last leg of his tour would take him to Venezuela for a brief stop to hold talks with President Hugo Chavez. Forqani did not provide any further details.