By Arnold Ahlert
Last Wednesday, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Iran of “infiltrating” South America and establishing intelligence networks aimed at carrying out more terrorist attacks in the region. Nisman said the effort has been ongoing since the 1980s in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Surinam and Trinidad and Tobago. “These are sleeper cells,” he explained. ”They have activities you wouldn’t imagine. Sometimes they die having never received the order to attack.”
Nisman’s remarks were made as he presented a 500-page indictment detailing the case against former Iranian officials accused of masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 people. The effort has resulted in Interpol arrest warrants for eight Iranians and one person believed to be Lebanese. They include former Iranian cultural attaché in Argentina, Mohsen Rabbani; Iran’s current defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi; former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; former Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian; former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, former Revolutionary Guard chief Mohsen Rezaei; former ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour; and the Iranian Embassy’s former third-ranking diplomat, Ahmad Reza Asghari.
Velayati and Rezaei are candidates in Iran’s current presidential election, scheduled for June 14. Rabbani is the alleged the architect of the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, as well as ”coordinator of the Iranian infiltration of South America, especially in Guyana,” according to Nisman.
With a population of 200,000, Argentina’s Jewish community is the largest in South America, making it the most obvious target for terror in the region.
Nisman’s report contends that the 1994 bombing “has to be investigated as a segment in a larger sequence.” This includes the case of Guyanese men Russell M. Defreitas and Abdul Kadir, who were convicted in 2010 of conspiring to attack New York’s Kennedy International Airport by blowing up fuel tanks and triggering a series of explosions along a pipeline that wends its way through the city. During cross-examination by prosecutors in that case, Kadir, a former Guyanese government official, admitted he had drafted regular reports to the Iranian ambassador in Venezuela, outlining plans to infiltrate the Guyanese military and police forces.
According to Nisman, Kadir was Rabbani’s “disciple.” Kadir “received instructions” from Rabbani “and carried out the Iranian infiltration in Guyana, whose structure was nearly identical … to that established by Rabbani in Argentina,” the prosecutor wrote. He further insisted that Interpol should step up its efforts to execute arrest warrants for the bombers.
The indictment has been sent to Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, the judge in charge of the case, as well as the countries targeted for infiltration. Iran has sought “to infiltrate the countries of Latin America and install secret intelligence stations with the goal of committing, fomenting and fostering acts of international terrorism in concert with its goals of exporting the revolution,” Nisman wrote.
Unsurprisingly, Iran has denied any involvement in the 1994 attack. Furthermore, the regime refuses to allow Rabbani or any of the other suspects to be extradited to Argentina. The Iranians insist a viable compromise is a newly agreed upon “truth commission” that will purportedly allow Nisman to obtain testimony from the accused — in Tehran — following years of legal deadlock.
The establishment of the truth commission was announced in January, following a concession made by Iran last July to cooperate with Argentina on the investigation, which the Iranians contended ”was going down the wrong way.” It will be comprised of five judges, none of whom come from Argentina or Iran.
AMIA officials, as well as other Jewish groups in Argentina, are vehemently opposed to the move…