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Ahmadinejad slams Argentina for giving in to ‘Zionists’


New York : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasted Argentina Friday for seeking the extradition of Iranian Defence Minister General Ahmad Vahidi.

“We want to advise the Argentine government, instead of meeting the interest of a minority of Zionists in Argentina, to seek the interest and benefit for everyone,” Ahmadinejad told a press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Earlier this week at the UN General Assembly, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner again demanded the extradition of Vahidi and other Iranian officials accused of involvement in the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing of a Jewish community centre, which killed 85 people. She further complained that one of the suspects had been appointed to a minister post.

Iran has insisted that accusations against Vahidi and other Iranian officials had not been proven by the Argentine judiciary in the last 15 years.

When Vahidi was first named defence minister, Argentine public prosecutor Alberto Nisman described him as “extremely compromised” due to the 1994 bombing.

Argentine justice officials have asked Interpol to arrest Vahidi, arguing that he was one of five high Iranian officials who took part in a meeting where the bombing was decided.

Argentina is home to the largest Jewish community in Latin America.

Hundreds of people were wounded in the July 18, 1994, community centre bombing in the central Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Once. Two years earlier, a bombing against the Israeli embassy in central Buenos Aires left 29 people dead.