Iran’s Minister of the Interior, Ahmad Vahidi, maintains oversight over all Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) deployed to subdue protests in Iran, including the ongoing protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. The LEF has used lethal force against protesters on multiple occasions in the past, making it a key instrument of the Iranian regime in its ongoing repression of its own people. The LEF’s actions have resulted in thousands of deaths, including at least dozens of casualties in the recent demonstrations against the Morality Police. In the past, Vahidi has warned Iranian women that the government’s security forces will penalize those “breaking rules” in reference to hijab compliance. Recently, Vahidi has explicitly threatened protesters who continue to challenge the regime and has defended the brutal actions of LEF officers in suppressing ongoing protests.
Vahidi is being redesignated today pursuant to E.O. 13553 for being an official of the Government of Iran and being responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran or Iranian citizens or residents, or the family members of the foregoing, on or after June 12, 2009, regardless of whether such abuses occurred in Iran.
Vahidi was previously designated under E.O. 13382 on June 16, 2010, for ties to Iran’s nuclear and WMD programs. During his time as head of the IRGC’s Qods Force, the group’s external operations arm, Vahidi oversaw the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 85 people and wounded hundreds.
In 1988, he was appointed as the commander of its extraterritorial special forces, Quds Force. He was the minister of defense under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, having held the post from 3 September 2009 until 15 August 2013. Vahidi is president of the Supreme National Defense University since August 2016;
Deputy Head of MODAFL (Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics);
Listed in an international arrest warrant issued by an Argentine judge on November 9, 2006 against suspected participants in the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association bomb attack in Buenos Aires in 1994;
Reportedly former deputy defense minister for planning and projects;
Former commander of the Qods Force of the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps);
Vahidi has been wanted by Interpol since 2007 for his alleged participation in the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 18 July 1994, in which 85 people died. Vahidi was serving as the commander of a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force when the attack occurred. He is one of five Iranians sought in the bombing;
In June 2010, Vahidi was blacklisted by the U.S Government, a measure which is aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters thereby isolating them from the U.S. financial and commercial systems;
In May 2011, Vahidi paid an official visit to Bolivia. Upon this event in June 2011, Bolivia apologized to Argentina for Ahmad Vahidi visiting the country, and announced that he would be leaving the country immediately;
Also Known As:
Ahmad Shah Cheraghi
Military Weapon Program
June 27, 1958
Iranian Diplomatic Infrastructure for Terrorism in the world
Reason for the color:
» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on October 6, 2022 pursuant to Executive Order 13846 for having engaged in censorship or other activities with respect to Iran on or after June 12, 2009, that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, or that limit access to print or broadcast media, including the facilitation or support of intentional frequency manipulation by the Government of Iran or an entity owned or controlled by the Government of Iran that would jam or restrict an international signal;
» Listed by the European Union on June 24, 2008 as a person linked to Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or Iran’s development of nuclear weapon delivery systems; with some exceptions, and within their jurisdiction, European Union member states must freeze all funds and economic resources owned, held or controlled by the person, and must also ensure that funds or economic resources are not made available to or for the benefit of the listed person; with some exceptions, European Union member states must prevent the person’s entry into or transit through their territories;
» On 6/16/2010 treasury designated Ahmad Vahidi who serves as Iran’s Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), a position he has held since September 2009. Prior to that, he served as Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister and held positions with the IRGC-Qods Force. MODAFL has ultimate authority over Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO), both of which have been designated under E.O. 13382;
» Listed in an international arrest warrant issued by an Argentine judge on November 9, 2006 against suspected participants in the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association bomb attack in Buenos Aires in 1994;