Two men linked to a deadly 1994 building blast in Argentina haven’t only managed to avoid prosecution, they’re also running as candidates in next month’s Iranian presidential elections.
The duo – Mohsen Rezai and Ali Akbar Velayat – are currently suspects in the 1994 bombing of the Argentina Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) headquarters in Buenos Aires in an attack that killed 85 and wounded another 300.
Shockingly, although Iran’s Guardian Council slashed the list down to only eight candidates ahead of the June elections, both men managed to advance through the recent round of eliminations.
While the events of roughly a decade ago would clearly be an issue for any presidential or political candidate, the Argentinian government’s recently-established joint commission to re-examine the attack makes it a near lock the men will be exonerated, according to a report by The Atlantic.
Not shockingly, Argentina’s move has greatly angered the country’s Jewish population and the Israeli government as a whole, which expressed ‘astonishment’ at the bold move.
Nonetheless, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner appears determined to restore relations with Iran – a country with whom Argentina shared close ties with throughout much of the 1980s.
Iran previously sided with Argentina during the country’s Falklands War of 1982. While this was seen as an attempt for the isolated nation to form an ally, Argentina’s large Muslim population also offered Iran a chance to “export the revolution” to a faraway ally.
During this period, Iran also garnered serious interest in Argentinian exports, especially in the country’s military cache of weaponry. Iran also attempted to revive its nuclear weapons program with Argentinian assistance back in the mid-1980s.
Iran's vote to replace current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to take place on June 14.