Iran blasts Argentine arrest warrants

An Argentine judge has issued arrest warrants for eight Iranian officials on charges they plotted the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.

    The Buenos Aires Jewish centre bombing killed 85 people and injured 300


    Juan Jose Galeano has said on Wednesday, among those

    ordered arrested is Iran's former ambassador to

    Buenos Aires, Hadi Soleimanpur.

    The others are diplomats Ahmad Reza

    Asghari, Hossein Ali Cabrizi, Masoud Amiri, Seyed Yousef Arabi,

    Ahmad Alamolhoda, Mahmoud Monzavizadeh and Saied Baghban.

    Galeano added, the role of Iran's supreme leader,

    Ayat Allah Ali Khamani, ex-President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, and other

    senior officials remained to be determined.

    Jewish centre blast

    The July 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual

    Association in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and injured 300 more.

    Two years earlier, another 29 people were killed in the bombing

    of the Israeli embassy.

    That crime has not yet been solved.

    Israel and the United States have long suspected Lebanese resistance group

    Hizb Allah in the community centre

    blast, but Argentina has refused to comment.


    Playing politics

    After the judge's order was announced Iran immediately

    accused Argentina of playing politics.

    Ex-president Rafsanjani is being

    "The sentence of the Argentine judge is a political sentence

    and we condemn it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi


    Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement and says no

    evidence has ever been presented to link it with the attack.

    Tehran insists the accusations have been orchestrated by its

    arch-enemies in Israel and the United States.

    Iran protest

    "Unfortunately from the beginning it was clear that the only

    thing that the Argentine judicial system was not paying

    attention to was the judicial aspects of the case and it

    merely... wants to implement Israel's orders," Asefi said.

    Iran withdrew its ambassador from Buenos Aires shortly after

    the attack, in protest after being implicated by the Argentine

    government, but retains a diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires.

    Argentina has the largest Jewish community in Latin America,

    estimated at around 230,000 by the World Jewish Congress.




    SOURCE: Reuters


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