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Jewish Journal

Argentina’s Jews balk at negotiations with Iran over ‘94 bombing

by Diego Melamed, JTA

October 4, 2012 | 11:46 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

Relatives of victims of the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires and Jewish leaders are urging their government not to negotiate with Iran.

Hector Timerman, Argentina’s Jewish foreign minister, met recently at U.N. headquarters in New York with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, about the July 1994 bombing on the Jewish community's main building, and the two countries said they would continue negotiations through government officials in Geneva.

Iran is accused of directing the attack, which killed 85 and injured hundreds. The Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah allegedly carried out the attack.

“The only Iranian offering of cooperation that we accept is to submit the accused to the courts of our country, where they will enjoy guarantees and rights of defense,” declared a document signed Wednesday at the rebuilt AMIA headquarters by the relatives and Jewish leaders.

“As victims of the attack, we are not ready to endorse a new Iranian maneuver whose sole purpose is to ensure impunity for fugitives and to prevent justice.”

Among those signing were Guillermo Borger, president of AMIA; Aldo Donzis, president of the DAIA, the country’s umbrella Jewish community’s group; and 21 relatives of victims of the blast.

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