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Bolivia Says Iranian Defense Minister Leaving

Bolivia says it has taken action to ensure that Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has left Bolivia.

Vahidi is accused by Bolivia's neighbor Argentina of helping plan the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

Vahidi was reported to have come to Bolivia at the invitation of Bolivia's Defense Ministry to help inaugurate a military academy.

In a letter to Argentina, Bolivia's Foreign Ministry apologized for the invitation to Vahidi, saying Bolivian defense officials were not aware of the background of the Argentinian bomb case.

The letter, which was released by the Argentinian government, called the situation "lamentable," and said Bolivian officials were taking action to ensure that Vahidi "immediately leaves Bolivian territory."

A Reuters news agency report quoted Bolivian government officials as saying Vahidi had left Bolivia late on May 31.

Argentina is seeking Vahidi's arrest, but the minister has diplomatic immunity. Iranian authorities have denied any connection to the Buenos Aires bombing.

compiled from agency reports