Argentina has complained that the man nominated for the post of defence minister in Iran’s new government is wanted over a bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994, which left 85 people dead.
Alberto Nisman, the Argentine federal prosecutor, said on Friday that Ahmad Vahidi was accused of “being a key participant in the planning and of having made the decision to go ahead with the attack against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association”.
“His nomination is very serious, given that Vahidi is a person who – as former head of Al-Quds – is deeply implicated with this attack,” he said.
Iran has never acknowledged the existence of the Al-Quds Brigades, which is believed to be a covert operation branch of the Revolutionary Guards.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, press adviser to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, dismissed the complaint, saying that he saw a “Zionist” hand in the outrage.
“How come didn’t they bring it up in the past?” he asked.
“Mr Vahidi was a deputy defence minister and this is very senior political position.
“Therefore it seems that this is a new trick being planned and is basically a Zionist plot.”
A warrant for Vahidi’s arrest was issued by the international police organisation Interpol in November 2007.
The 1994 bombing was the second attack against a Jewish target in Buenos Aires in less than three years.
In 1992, the Israeli embassy was also levelled in a bombing that killed 22 people and wounded 200 others.
Argentina has the largest Jewish community in the Americas outside the United States.