Iran rejects Interpol wanted notices - official

TEHRAN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Iran on Thursday denounced Interpol's decision to issue wanted notices for five Iranians for involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina in which 85 people were killed.

The world police body's annual general assembly on Wednesday voted to issue the "Red Notices" seeking the extradition of the Iranians and one Lebanese national in connection with the bombing.

Iran has repeatedly denied any link to the attack and blames the United States and Israel for trying to implicate it.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Interpol's move was "strongly condemned by Iran and it was an unprincipled measure."

"It was expected that Interpol ... would not weaken its position ... by succumbing to the Zionist regime (Israel) and some dominant power's political will," state television quoted him as saying.

"Pressuring professional organisations like Interpol to fulfil political aims is against international laws and is regrettable and fully unacceptable," Hosseini said.

The Interpol notices seek the arrest of a wanted person with a view to extradition but do not force a country to arrest suspects. Hosseini said Iran was determined to preserve its nationals' rights.

"Iran will take necessary legal measures and other steps until these notices are cancelled and will demand compensation as well," Hosseini said.

Argentina last year issued international arrest warrants for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, seven other Iranians, and a former leading figure in the Hezbollah guerrilla group on charges of masterminding the attack.

Interpol said in March it would issue its own wanted notices against six of the nine, excluding Rafsanjani, who leads a powerful body that can appoint or dismiss Iran's top authority the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Wednesday's vote was welcomed by Argentina as a success.

Hosseini said Argentina had been told to produce new evidence to back up the arrest notices but had not done so.

In a retaliatory move, an Iranian court sent Argentina a summons for five Argentines in August, accusing them of "actions against the security of the Islamic Republic."

Writing by Parisa Hafezi, editing by Diana Abdallah