Argentina wants Iranian ex-envoy extradited

Hadi Sulaymanpour, Iran's former ambassador to Argentina, will appear in a London court for an extradition hearing in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires.

    Iranian linked to Argentina’s worst ever terrorist incident

    Sulaymanpour, a research student at Durham University in northeast England, is being detained by British police after they received a formal extradition warrant from Argentine authorities. He will appear before magistrates on Friday.

    Magistrates will decide whether to extradite him to Argentina to face charges of conspiracy in the car bomb attack which killed 85 people and maimed a further 300, Argentina’s worst ever terrorist incident.

     “He participated in a very concrete way in organising the attack,” Marta Nercellas, the lawyer representing the AMIA centre in Buenos Aires, told Argentine television in an interview.

    “The (Iranian) embassy in Argentina was used as the base from which they gathered intelligence information that had to do with the massacre," she added.

    Further extradition requests

    Extradition proceedings have also been launched against seven other Iranian officials in connection with the attack. Argentine and Jewish leaders have long proclaimed Iran’s involvement in the attacks - a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

    The Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association building was the focal point for Jews living in the Buenos Aires. Argentina is home to Latin Americas largest Jewish population, estimated at around 300,000.

    There was no immediate Iranian reaction to Sulaymanpour's arrest, but last week Tehran condemned the Argentinian request as part of “international Zionism's plan to manipulate Argentina”.

    Drive to heal wounds

    The other warrants issued by investigating Judge Juan Jose Galeano were for Ahmad Reza Asghari, Hossein Ali Cabrizi, Masoud Amiri, Seyed Yousef Arabi, Ahmad Alamolhoda, Mahmoud Monzavizadeh and Saied Baghban.

    Iran maintains a representative presence in Argentina though it no longer has an embassy there.

    This is the latest in a series of extradition requests issued by Argentine authorities, who are following up on President Nestor Kirchner's drive to heal national wounds.

    The country’s parliament yesterday repealed a law prohibiting prosecution of people who committed human rights abuses during the “dirty war” of 1976-1983.

    An estimated 15,000 to 30,000 people were executed during the dictatorship years of Jorge Rafael Videla. The majority were kidnapped and their bodies never recovered.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.