Lawmaker backs Iranian defense chief nominee
Associated Press / Nasser Karimi

he head of an influential committee in Iran's parliament said he believes the nominee for defense minister will be approved despite accusations he was involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Argentina, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

The backing of the foreign policy and national security committee raises the likelihood that Gen. Ahmad Vahidi will be confirmed as defense chief in a vote in the full legislature, which is expected to be held on Sept. 1.

His nomination last week by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad angered Argentina, which accuses him of playing a key role in the Buenos Aires bombing. The United States, which has sought to reach out to Iran under President Barack Obama, has also said Vahidi's presence in the Cabinet would be disturbing.

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