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New Report Reveals Iran’s Terror Network in Latin America

Lessons must be learned to head off the next attack


30th May 2013 - FDD Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, DC -- Argentina’s Prosecutor for the AMIA investigation Alberto Nisman released a ground-breaking report detailing Iran’s extensive terrorist network in Latin America. Focusing both on the 1994 bombing of the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) center in Buenos Aires and more broadly on Iran’s use of cultural, religious, and educational centers as covers for illegal and terrorist activities, the report raises serious concerns about the ongoing threat to U.S. allies in the Western Hemisphere and globally. 

Nisman's 7-year investigation uncovered devastating evidence that the AMIA plot was orchestrated and planned by high-level Iranian officials including former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Revolutionary Guard chief Mohsen Rezaei, both of whom are candidates in Iran’s presidential election to take place on June 14. 

Iranian officials continue to operate with impunity despite Interpol red notices for Rezaei, former Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahijan, former cultural attaché Mohsen Rabbani, who oversees the Hezbollah network in Latin America on behalf of the Qods Force, and Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, and Argentine indictments for Velayati and former President Hashem Rafsanjani. 

Nisman’s report also highlighted that Iran’s terror networks throughout Latin America were used as part of the thwarted 2007 attack on JFK Airport in New York, which experts say could have rivaled the attack on 9/11 had it not been uncovered. “Nisman’s investigation revealed how Iran exploits the vulnerabilities of America and our allies to set up illicit financial and terrorist networks. Policy makers around the world should draw on Nisman’s investigation and expertise to develop strategies to counter Iran’s global network,” FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz said. 

“Nisman’s thorough, riveting report is a virtual road map for how Iran’s long arm of terrorism can reach unsuspecting communities and that the AMIA attack was merely the canary in the coal mine,” said Toby Dershowitz, FDD’s Vice President of Government Relations and Strategy. “We ignore its lessons at our peril. Regrettably, not many governments in Latin America have learned the lessons that should be clear from the Nisman investigation but hopefully the new report will stimulate a comprehensive rethinking of counter-terrorism policies. The no-holds-barred, courageous report is a ‘must read’ for policy makers and law enforcement around the world and Nisman himself should be tapped for his guidance and profound understanding of Iran’s terrorism strategy.” 

Read the full summary here.

Tags

argentina, iran, irgc, south-america