Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC welcomes Interpol vote to issue arrest warrants for Iranians suspected in 1994 AMIA bombing

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Melbourne - The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has welcomed Australia's vote [with Opposition backing] to uphold Interpol's previous decision to issue arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Hezbollah operative. The six individuals are suspected of involvement in the 1994 terrorist attack on the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires. AIJAC also praised Australia's positive role in encouraging other countries to vote likewise.  

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein stated, "This overwhelming Interpol decision is an important and necessary step in the long road toward bringing a measure of justice to the many victims of the attack and their families. The vote highlights the reality of the threat posed by Iran's sponsorship of terrorism."  

"At a time when Iran continues to pursue its nuclear weapons ambitions in defiance of the international community, the vote serves as a timely reminder of Iran's nefarious and destabilising behaviour and should only strengthen the international community's resolve to prevent Iran from obtaining such weapons," Dr. Rubenstein added.  

Interpol's General Assembly on Wednesday voted to uphold the issuance of "red notices" for the suspects in the attack, in which 85 people were killed and many more were injured.  

Interpol's Executive Committee had unanimously decided to issue the five notices in March 2007, after Argentinean authorities presented evidence demonstrating the suspects' involvement in the bombing. The prosecutors in Argentina had actually secured indictments against nine suspects, but the executive committee declined to issue notices against Iran's former president, Ali Rafsanjani, and two other high-level officials on political grounds. The General Assembly was forced to a vote on the issue after Iran objected to the executive committee's decision.  

Although Iran is not likely to arrest and extradite the suspects, the Interpol decision is significant nevertheless, as it came despite pressure from Iran to reject Argentina's request.  

Dr. Rubenstein concluded, "In the face of Iranian pressure and bullying tactics, Interpol should be applauded for sending a strong signal that the international community will not cease in its efforts to bring to justice those responsible for reprehensible acts of global terrorism."  

For additional information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein on (03)-9681-6660

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