US sanctions former Iran intel chief behind deadly bombings of Jewish targets
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US sanctions former Iran intel chief behind deadly bombings of Jewish targets

State Dept. says Ali Fallahian ‘bears responsibility’ for 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85, ‘involved’ in 1995 Gaza suicide bombing that killed US student

Iran's former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, escorted by his bodyguards, is seen in Tehran in this Dec. 22, 2000 photo.  (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)
Iran's former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, escorted by his bodyguards, is seen in Tehran in this Dec. 22, 2000 photo. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)

JTA — A former Iranian official involved in a 1995 suicide bombing in Israel that killed an American student and the 1994 AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires is among the targets of US financial sanctions and visa restrictions.

The actions against 12 Iranian individuals and entities by the State and Treasury departments were announced Wednesday.

Ali Fallahian, who served as the head of Iran’s intelligence service from 1989 to 1997, and his immediate family are barred from entering the United States.

During his service, Fallahian was “involved in multiple assassinations and attacks across the globe,” according to the State Department, including the killing of Alisa Flatow, 20, an exchange student from New Jersey. Flatow was killed in the attack on an Israeli bus in the Gaza Strip, prior to Israel’s disengagement from the coastal area.

Alisa Flatow (Courtesy of Stephen M. Flatow)

The State Department also said Fallahian “bears responsibility” for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the sanctions and visa restrictions “send a message of support to the Iranian people that we will continue to support their demands for transparent and accountable governance and speak out for those who are being silenced by this regime. Our pressure on Iran to treat its own people with dignity and respect will not cease.”

Firemen and civilians walk over the rubble left after a bomb exploded at the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 1994. (Ali Burafi/AFP/Getty Images/via JTA)

Iran’s current Interior minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, is among the others sanctioned under the new order. The State Department said Fazli gave carte blanche orders authorizing Iranian police forces to use lethal force on peaceful protesters and bystanders, leading to the death of many, including at least 23 minors.

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