Iran’s Raisi Taps Interpol Most Wanted and Anti-Western Hardliners in Top Ministerial Positions

Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi gestures during an election campaign rally in the city of Eslamshahr, about 25 kilometres south of the centry of the capital Tehran, on June 6, 2021. - The 60-year-old ultra-conservative Raisi, widely seen as the favourite to win the June 18 presidential election, heads the …
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi appointed terrorists and anti-Western hardliners in top ministerial positions on Wednesday, including an interior minister wanted by Interpol for his role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires as well as a foreign minister with close links to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group.

Raisi’s tap for foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, is likely to make any attempt to return to the tattered JCPOA 2015 nuclear deal almost impossible.

The Biden administration has attempted to reenter the accord by holding indirect talks in Vienna for the past several months, but the efforts were frozen after Raisi’s election.

“Amirabdollahian is a hardline diplomat…If the foreign ministry remains in charge of Iran’s nuclear dossier, then obviously Tehran will adopt a very tough line in the talks,” Reuters quoted an Iranian nuclear negotiator who asked not to be named as saying.

Amirabdollahian, 56, was deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a known Holocaust denier.

Citing Iranian media, Reuters reported on the possibility the Supreme National Security Council, under the stewardship of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, would take over the nuclear talks in Vienna from the foreign ministry.

Raisi also appointed Gen. Ahmad Vahidi as his interior minister. Vahidi is a former defense minister blacklisted by the U.S. and was also the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, during the time of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in the Argentinian capital.

The Times of Israel reported:

The 1994 AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) bombing, carried out by a Lebanese suicide bomber who drove a car bomb at the multistory building, killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. The bomber was subsequently identified as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, and he was allegedly assisted by other Hezbollah and Iranian operatives.

Families of the victims of the bombing renewed their demands for justice as they marked the anniversary of the attack last month, angry that no one has ever been convicted.

Raisi’s pick for first vice president, chief of staff, defense minister, interior minister, roads minister, and tourism minister are all under sanction.

 

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