Iran: Parliament ratified suspect of AMIA attack as minister
After being ratified by the Iranian Parliament as the new Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, issued a tough threat by stating that his appointment is a “blow to Israel.”
“I congratulate Vahidi who won the most votes (out of 21 candidates submitted to ministers.) he got 276 votes out of 286″ , said Ali Larijani, head of the Iranian Congress. Vahidi’s appointment as a candidate caused an international dispute and harsh repudiation by the Argentine government, sparking strong bilateral tension.
Ahmad Vahidi is one of the five Iranians accused of alleged involvement in the terrorist attack against the Jewish Mutual in 1994 in Buenos Aires that left 85 dead.
At the time of the slaughter, Vahidi was head of the Quds Force, a special unit within the main elite force of the theocratic regime, the Revolutionary Guard.
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said last month that his appointment as head of the Defense Ministry was “an affront to Argentina´s justice and the families of the victims.”
Meanwhile, the widespread ratification of ministers from Parliament was an important victory for Ahmadinejad and was seen by analysts as a vote of confidence to the harsh repression of government opponents who claim that his re-election was fraudulent and his aggressive policy toward the West regarding the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad had faced questionings from lawmakers in his own conservative party on the experience of some of his nominees for the 21 portfolios of the Executive, but got approval from most senior ministers, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs.
The Parliament also gave its approval to Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi as Minister of Health, the first woman leading a portfolio since the inception of the Islamic Republic in 1979, according to news agency DPA.
However, there was a complete triumph for the president, who faces growing internal dissent by his controversial reelection in the elections of 12th June and allegations of abuse by prison dissidents who were arrested during the crackdown on protests against the outcome of elections.
Three nominees were rejected: the Energy minister candidate and two women nominated to the Ministries of Social Action and Welfare.