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

Judge 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 beinginvestigated 

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 said.

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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