Iran's new defence minister, who is wanted by Argentina in connection with the deadly bombing of a Jewish center, repeated on Sunday that his appointment to the post was a blow to Israeli propaganda.
MPs rallied behind Ahmad Vahidi in a confidence vote on Thursday, approving him as the new defense minister in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government despite Argentina triggering a global outcry against his nomination.
Vahidi, a military commander, said in a statement carried by most Iranian news agencies on Sunday that his approval for the post was a sign that the people want a stronger defense establishment.
"It is also a stamp which nullifies the wave of propoganda and psychological war started by the Zionists," he said of Iran's arch-foe Israel.
On Thursday, soon after being approved by MPs with the highest number of votes secured by any Ahmadinejad cabinet nominee, Vahidi told AFP parliament's decision was a "decisive slap to Israel."
Of the 286 MPs who cast their ballots during the confidence motion, 227 voted for him.
Vahidi was deputy defense minister during Ahmadinejad's first four-year term and also held the same post under reformist president Mohammad Khatami, who was succeeded by Ahmadinejad in 2005.
Vahidi is wanted by Argentina in connection with the July 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires of a Jewish center in which 85 people were killed and 300 wounded.
In 2007, Interpol distributed an Argentine warrant for Vahidi's arrest in connection with the bombing.
Iran does not recognize Israel, and Ahmadinejad said during his first term that the Jewish state is doomed to be "wiped off the map." He further angered the global community by calling the Holocaust a "myth."