Nicaragua is facing outrage after an Iranian official wanted in connection with the deadly AMIA bombing attended the swearing-in of controversial President Daniel Ortega for a fourth term following an election widely viewed as rigged.

Mohsen Rezaee, a Vice President of Iran and two-time former Presidential candidate, attended the ceremony this week despite being wanted by Interpol for his role in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Mr Rezaee was the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps at the time of the AMIA bombing, which he is believed to have masterminded and which killed 86 people and injured hundreds. The United States has designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Rezaee has been wanted by Interpol since 2007.

The Organisation of American States’ antisemitism envoy, the Brazilian lawyer Fernando Lottenberg, called for Nicaragua to abide by its duties as a member of Interpol, saying: “I repudiate the presence of the Vice President of Iran at the inauguration of Daniel Ortega in Managua. Mohsen Rezaee is under a red alert from Interpol. Nicaragua, as a member of Interpol, should soon comply with it.”

Argentina has its own arrest warrant out for Mr Rezaee, and the country’s Foreign Ministry said that “his presence in Managua constitutes an affront to Argentine justice and to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack against the AMIA.” 

During his visit, Mr Rezaee also met with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.

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In a joint effort between the Brazilian and United States authorities, four suspects alleged to be members of a neo-Nazi gang have been arrested in Brazil. 

The individuals had reportedly planned to carry out a series of targeted attacks on Jewish and black residents in São Paulo over New Year’s Eve, but after being warned of the plans back in May by Brazil-based Homeland Security Investigations agents, the authorities managed to intercept the attacks. 

Homeland Security Investigations Brasilia Acting Attaché Patrick Chen said: “Through continued investigative collaboration, members of dangerous antisemitic and neo-Nazi cells were apprehended before they caused a possible mass casualty event. The success of Operation Bergónis a prime example of the importance of international partnerships in dismantling criminal organizations that threaten public safety and innocent lives.”

HSI Brasilia also said that the alleged neo-Nazi members used websites in the United States to “to call for violence against Jewish and black” residents in Brazil.

Authorities produced 31 search warrants which allowed them to discover and seize homemade bombs, weapons and documents containing attack plots and Nazi paraphernalia.

In a statement, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations said: “The individuals in question were part of neo-Nazi cell that were planning attacks against public areas, such as schools, as well as hate crimes against Jewish and black civilians.”

One of the suspects, a 43-year-old man who worked as security in the city of Campinas, told authorities of his plans to denote explosives during the New Year’s Eve celebration. The man was said to have recruited members to bomb a nuclear plant in the Rio de Janeiro municipality of Angra dos Reis.

The suspect reportedly identified himself as Matheus Hades NS and told the authorities in a recorded confession that “there is so much wrong in the world that I can’t take it anymore,” adding that he wanted to “kill and then commit suicide” but that he would spare anyone “as long as they are good, honest, hardworking people. With the rest, I don’t worry.”

The other three alleged members were arrested in the São Paulo city of Suzano and the Rio de Janeiro municipalities of Campos dos Goytacazes and Valença.

In October, a man in Brazil accused of Holocaust denial and pedophilia was reportedly found with a stash of Nazi memorabilia worth £2.5 million. 

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Argentina has strongly condemned the nomination by Iran of Ahmad Vahidi to be the new interior minister.

Mr Vahidi is a former head of Quds, the paramilitary wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. In that role, Mr Vahidi is a leading suspect in the planning of the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 died and hundreds more were seriously wounded.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry described the news as “an affront to Argentine justice and to the victims of the brutal terrorist attack.” The Foreign Ministry also reiterated that Mr Vahidi was wanted by the Argentine courts which considered him to be “a key participant in the decision-making and planning” of the AMIA attack.

Mr Vahidi is one of four Iranians who – since 2007 – have been the subject of an Interpol Red Alert for their alleged role in the 1994 bombing. Iran denies any involvement in the attack and refuses to allow its officials to be investigated. 

If Mr Vahidi’s nomination by Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi is confirmed by parliament, this will be his second Cabinet post. He was Defence Minister from 2009 to 2013 and he has also served as chancellor of the Supreme University of National Defence.

The Foreign Ministry statement added: “The Argentine government once more requires the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to co-operate fully with the Argentine courts, permitting the persons accused of participating in the attack against AMIA to be tried.”

America’s Simon Wiesenthal Centre also expressed criticism of the appointment, describing it as “an insult to Argentina” and “a blow to the families” of the victims.

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