A former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who is said to have been at the meeting in which it was decided to attack the Jewish AMIA association in 1994 in Buenos Aires has been appointed Vice President of Economic Affairs by President Ebrahim Raisi, it was announced Wednesday.
Mohsen Rezai, who is under a red alert from Interpol for his alleged involvement in the terrorist attack, has become the second case of a fugitive from the Argentine Judiciary to reach a position of power within Iran's new administration. Two weeks after Ahmad Vahidi had been appointed Minister of the Interior.
The new decision has sparked a strong response from Israel's Embassy in Argentina. The government of Iran continues to add terrorists. After Vahidi's appointment as Interior Minister, now it is Mohsen Rezai's turn, it posted on Twitter, while Ambassador Galit Ronen added: No surprise. A terrorist government with ministers and other high officials who are terrorists.
According to Argentine investigators based on the opinion of late prosecutor Alberto Nisman and on resolutions of former Judge Juan José Galeano, both Vahidi and Rezai were commanders of the Al-Quds Force and were part of the group in which it was decided that Hezbollah of Lebanon was going to play a part in the execution of the attack.
Rezai has also served as secretary of the Council for Discernment of the Convenience of Iran since 1997 and was even a candidate for president in the elections in which Raisi prevailed.
His own son, Ahmad, who in 1998 defected to the United States and requested political asylum, added to his father's criminal dossier.
The newly-appointed official is wanted for “homicide ... committed out of racial or religious hatred ... to the detriment of 85 fatal victims ... (as well as) minor injuries and ... serious injuries ... and multiple damages “ to other victims as per the red-alert warrant within Interpol.
As head of the Discernment Council for Convenience, he was responsible for developing policies for approval by the Supreme Leader.
In his youth he militated against Shah Reza Pahlavi's monarchy. During those years, he was reportedly arrested, interrogated and tortured. After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he began to join politics and the military. He has a PhD in Economics.
His notoriety began in the 1980s when as a commander in the Iran-Iraq war he pushed for diplomacy when other members of the Revolutionary Guard wanted conflict. In recent years, Rezai defended reconciliation with the United States by pushing forward the talks in exchange for Washington gradually lifting sanctions.