Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

Visit Douglas Farah's
author page at

Press Releases

Another Step on Iran, Hezbollah and Argentina
Interpol, the international police organization, has finally taken the necessary step of issuing red notices, the equivalent of international arrest warrants, against five senior Iranian and one senior Hezbollah official for the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. It was one of the worst acts of Islamist terrorism in the Western hemisphere.

Interpol has mediated a long dispute between Argentine and Iranian officials over the releasing of the red notices since Argentina requested them last year.

In the end, Interpol agreed to request the arrest of several senior Iranian intelligence officials-including the former commander of the Quds Force, the former minister of intelligence and security, the former commander of the Guardians of the Revolution and two embassy employees-along with Imad Fayez Mughniyah, the chief of Hezbollah's exterior military apparatus.

However, the Interpol decision was not a complete victory for Argentina. The international body ruled that no red notices should be issued for former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who currently chairs Iran’s State Expediency Council and is deputy chair of the Assembly of Experts.

It also ruled against issuing a red notice for Ali Akbar Velayati, former Iranian Foreign Minister, who is currently the chief foreign policy advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Still, the rulings are important for several reasons. First, it places the current Iranian leadership, which now has the international obligation to arrest those named, further into the outlaw or rogue state standing. It ratifies the findings of clear state sponsorship for the attack, and dismisses Iran's claim in the proceedings that it does not have a relationship with Hezbollah.

As Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said today, "The decision by Interpol to issue capture notices for those implicated in the '94 bombing upholds the integrity of the Argentine judicial inquiry which found sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against these Iranian officials and their Hezbollah proxies."

Second, it is a stark reminder of the willingness and capability of the Iranian regime and its Hezbollah allies, to carry out attacks in this hemisphere against clearly civilian targets. Those who doubt Hezbollah or Iran are interested in or capable of further attacks have failed to learn the lessons of history.

Third, the "name and shame" efforts by the Argentine officials in pressing for the arrest (they know those names will not be arrested by the current regime) is not a U.S. effort to discredit Iranian officials, but the result of solid police work in Argentina, ratified by an international police organization. It also leaves open a valid arrest warrant for these individuals should the regime implode.

Finally, perhaps, it shows that some cases, where the prosecutors and police are diligent enough and tough enough, heinous crimes are not simply forgotten over time, something terrorists and rogue regimes sometimes hope and often achieve.
Bush and Latin America: Too Little, Too Late?
The Downward Spiral of Pakistan
Maintained by Winter Tree Media, LLC