Iran defense minister a terror suspect

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Protests against the government have continued throughout the summer, though many protest leaders and leading reformist politicians are now facing trial on charges of inciting a “velvet revolution.”

Meanwhile, many Iran analysts say, the Revolutionary Guard has effectively taken control of the country. Mr. Ahmadinejad began installing former associates from the guard in Iran’s civil service after he won his first election in 2005.

The Quds Force, named for the Arab word for Jerusalem, helped facilitate attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq in recent years by aiding, equipping and funding the Shi’ite militias involved.

Interference from the Quds Force became so intense that the Bush administration in its final months in office designated the organization a foreign terrorist entity, a designation that President Obama has not lifted.

Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, said the elevation of Mr. Vahidi “is reflective of the hard-line nature of the new Cabinet.”

“This should heighten concerns about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. There is still an outstanding warrant for those men, including Vahidi, who are responsible for the bloody and brutal attack on the Jewish community center and Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires,” he said.

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