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Israel strongly criticizes Argentina for inviting Iran for Amia bombing probe
Fourth Estate Cooperative Staff
Jerusalem, Israel (4E) – Israeli Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned Argentine ambassador, Atilio Norberto Molteni, to explain why Argentina decided to start an investigation with Iran on Buenos Aires’ Jewish cultural center bombing in 1994.
The move has apparently irked Israel. Although five independent judges of the “truth commission” are not from either of the two countries, an Israeli spokesman described it as “inviting a murderer to investigate his own killings”.
In 1994, Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (Amia) run cultural center was attacked in capital Buenos Aires, killing 85 people. The Argentine courts accused Iran of bombing – a charge Tehran always denied.
The prosecutors in Argentina claimed that Iran had planned and financed the attack but Lebanese Shia Islamist movement, Hezbollah, carried it out.
More than a decade later, Argentina called upon Iran to extradite eight of its nationals, including current Defense Minister, Gen Ahmed Vahidi.
Describing the agreement with Iran as historic, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on Monday said, “It guaranteed the right to due process of law, a fundamental principle of international criminal law”.
The attack had happened two years after an attack on the Israeli embassy in Argentina.