(Reuters) – Bolivia said on Tuesday it had taken steps to ensure that Iran’s defense minister, who is accused by Argentina of planning the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center that killed 85 people, leaves Bolivia immediately.
The statement came in a letter from Bolivia’s foreign minister to his counterpart in Argentina, which said the Iranian minister, Ahmad Vahidi, was in Bolivia at the invitation of the country’s Defense Ministry.
In the letter Bolivia apologized for the invitation, which it called “a grave incident”, and assured Argentina that Vahidi would not be in the country for long.
“As a result of this lamentable situation … the government of Bolivia has taken the corresponding provisions to see to it that Ahmad Vahidi immediately leaves Bolivian territory,” said the letter, which was released in Buenos Aires by the Argentine government.
Sources in Bolivia’s government, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Vahidi left Bolivia late on Tuesday.
Vahidi is among the senior Iranian officials accused by Argentine prosecutors of being behind the attack that leveled the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires. Iran denies any links to the bombing.