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Israel summons Argentina’s envoy over deal with Iran

JTA

January 29, 2013 | 11:26 am

Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a powerful car bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), killing 85 people, in this July 18, 1994 file photo. Photo by REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a powerful car bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), killing 85 people, in this July 18, 1994 file photo. Photo by REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian

Israel's Foreign Ministry summoned the Argentinian ambassador over his country's agreement with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires JCC.

Israel's ambassador in Buenos Aires, Dorit Shavit, also requested a meeting with the Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman to discuss the pact, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Argentina and Iran signed an agreement over the weekend to form an independent commission to investigate the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, which left 85 dead and hundreds injured.

Timerman met for first time with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, on Sept. 27 at the United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss the AMIA case.

Israel, the United States and the Argentinian Jewish community have objected to the bilateral meetings.

Though Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the bombing, and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah of carrying it out, no arrests have been made in the case. Six Iranians have been on the Interpol international police agency's most wanted list since 2007 in connection with the bombing, including the current Iranian defense minister, Gen. Ahmed Vahidi.

Iran also is believed to be behind the 1992 car bombing that destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 and injuring 242.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said that when the talks began between Argentina and Iran, it asked to be updated on the discussions, but Argentina never responded.

"Israel is clearly and understandably concerned by the matter," the Foreign Ministry said. "Though the attack took place on Argentinian soil and was aimed at Argentinian citizens, the findings of the ensuing investigation by Argentinian authorities has brought up a clear resemblance with the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which occurred two years earlier.

"The proven relation between the two attacks grants us the natural right to follow the investigations and to expect the perpetrators and their sponsors to be brought to justice."

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