Iran says Argentina playing politics over ‘94 bomb
TEHRAN: Iran’s Foreign Ministry accused Argentina’s judiciary on Thursday of playing politics after an Argentine judge ordered the arrest of eight Iranian officials suspected of involvement in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires.
“The sentence of the Argentine judge is a political sentence and we condemn it,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement faxed to Reuters.
Judge Juan Jose Galeano asked Interpol to arrest the eight — including Hadi Soleimanpour, Iran’s ambassador to Argentina at the time of the car bomb attack — after seeking the capture and extradition of five other Iranians earlier this year.
Israel and the United States have always said they suspected Iranian-backed Middle Eastern guerrillas were behind the attack on the AMIA Jewish community centre that killed 85 people and injured 200.
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.
“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. —Reuters