The invitation of Mohsen Rezai, Vice President of Economic Affairs of Iran, to the fourth inauguration of Daniel Ortega last Monday has raised blisters in Buenos Aires. Rezai is one of those charged for his participation in the 1994 terrorist attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which left 85 dead. In a Foreign Ministry statement, the Government of Alberto Fernández expressed its “strongest condemnation” for the presence of Rezai in Managua, who is seen smiling in the photos of the investiture ceremony together with Ortega, his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo and other guests such as Mr. Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro.
“The Argentine Government deeply regrets learning of the presence in the Republic of Nicaragua of Mr. Rezai, and must remember that the latter has an international arrest warrant issued by the Argentine Justice, while he is accused in the framework of the cause that investigates the worst terrorist attack that the Argentine Republic has suffered in its territory and that cost the loss of 85 Argentine citizens and hundreds of wounded, “says the Argentine Foreign Ministry in the claim note.
After Monday’s ceremony, Ortega and Murillo held a meeting with Rezai, who, according to statements released by official media, offered the couple his support to “overcome US imperialism”, at a time when Washington has imposed heavy sanctions on Nicaraguan officials, Rosario Murillo and their children. “We are together on this path. We are fully willing to collaborate and cooperate so that we can defeat US imperialism, and that is our duty as brothers, our obligation as brothers, to come and cooperate together, we consider it our obligation to be here with you,” the Iranian official said.
Daniel Ortega’s regime suffers strong international isolation due to reports of human rights violations, the repression of demonstrations (which has left more than 350 dead), the imprisonment of opposition candidates and other voices critical of the regime and the organization of elections considered a “farce” by both the opposition and most countries on the continent, who rejected their results. Argentina has repeatedly expressed its concern about the crisis in Nicaragua. Last year he called his ambassador in Managua for consultations and this week he refused to send an official delegation to participate in Ortega’s investiture. Due to this isolation, the Nicaraguan president has turned his eyes to countries such as Russia and Iran in search of support and, more recently, to China, after the rupture of relations with Taiwan, which was one of the main cooperators of the regime.
An international arrest warrant weighs on Rezai, for which Argentina warned that his presence in Nicaragua was sufficient for his capture. “The acts imputed to Mr. Rezai constitute a crime against humanity under customary international law, which is why his presence in the city of Managua, even when in his capacity as Vice President of Economic Affairs of Iran , does not exempt him from responding to the Argentine Justice, which forces us to express our strong claim”, explains the Foreign Ministry in its claim.
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On Thursday, the Argentine press questioned the government for not having acted against Rezai after he passed through Managua. The spokeswoman for the presidency, Gabriela Cerruti, has criticized the work of Interpol. According to her, that body should have captured the Iranian official. “Interpol would have to be asked why he did not know he was going to be there or why he did not carry out the arrest that he had to carry out,” Cerruti said in statements released by Efe. “It was more up to Interpol than the Argentine intelligence services to resolve this situation,” he stated.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.