For decades after World War II, a majority of American Jews were genuinely concerned with justice being served against Nazi criminals. In recent years, however, it seems as if American Jewry has lost interest in seeing other killers of Jews brought to justice or face international pressure.
Take, for example, the case of two Iranian terrorists involved in the 1994 Hezbollah bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more. Today, those men, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaei, are still living freely and proudly serving in Iran’s presidential Cabinet.
It’s high time for American-Jewish leaders to speak up and shame the ayatollah-led regime in Tehran at every international forum for making these mass murderers of Jews a part of its leadership.
In 2006, an Argentinean judge found that now-deceased Hezbollah terrorist Imad Fayez Moughnieh and other Iranian officials—such as the late Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ali Fallahian, Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohsen Rezaei, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Ashgari and Ahmad Vahidi—were directly responsible for the planning of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. In 2007, Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, issued arrest warrants for all of the figures connected with the bombing. Those warrants are still valid.
Not surprisingly, none of the above have left Iranian soil, for fear of being arrested and tried for their role in this heinous mass murder. Yet, President Ebrahim Raisi recently appointed Rezaei as vice president for economic affairs and Vahidi as interior minister.
Both Rezaei and Vahidi have held senior roles with the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The AMIA bombing took place during the time that Rezaei led the IRGC and Vahidi was the head of its international arm, the “Quds Force.”
These infamous men with Jewish blood on their hands have faced zero criticism from European leaders. Shamefully, there has been no opposition raised about their appointment from the Biden administration either.
But why hasn’t the American-Jewish community’s leadership or major activists not publicly denounced the Iranian regime for appointing these Jew killers? Why haven’t major U.S. Jewish groups begun a media campaign against the Iranian regime for having two mass murderers of Jews in their ranks? Why haven’t major American-Jewish leaders publicly called on European governments to condemn the appointment of Rezaei and Vahidi? Why haven’t Jewish leaders called on the Biden administration to condemn Rezaei and Vahidi? Their silence is shameful.
As Jews living in the United States, Europe or elsewhere in the world, we cannot afford to remain silent when such evil men who have the blood of our brethren on their hands walk this earth freely and enjoy substantial power. For the last 42 years, the ayatollah-led regime has not only killed dozens of Iranian Jews, and forced nearly all of Iran’s once 80,000-strong Jewish population out of the country, but its ruthless terrorist leaders have the blood of thousands of Jews outside of Iran on their hands.
Now that this regime is on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons and seeking the second genocide of our people in Israel, we must raise our voices at every public and government venue about the evil of these Jew-killers and their regime’s proud anti-Semitic nature.
Until Rezaei and Vahidi are brought before an international tribunal and found guilty for their role in planning the slaughter of Jews and non-Jews in the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, all Jews worldwide have a special responsibility to remind the world of their crimes and demand their immediate arrest.
Karmel Melamed is an award-winning internationally published Iranian American journalist based in Southern California.