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Argentina’s Timerman slams Israel criticism of Iran pact

JTA

February 13, 2013 | 4:15 pm

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman speaks before congressmen, members of the Jewish community and relatives of the victims of the 1994 AMIA's bombing attack in Buenos Aires on Feb. 13. Photo by Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman speaks before congressmen, members of the Jewish community and relatives of the victims of the 1994 AMIA's bombing attack in Buenos Aires on Feb. 13. Photo by Enrique Marcarian/Reuters

Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman hit back at Israeli criticism of a joint commission with Iran on the AMIA bombing on his first day of testimony to his country's Congress.

Both houses of the Congress must approve the "truth commission" before it is made active, and Jewish groups were present at the Senate session Wednesday to make clear their opposition.

Timerman argued that the commission was the best avenue to get at the truth of the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires JCC, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Dealing with Iran was not "pleasant," he said in his testimony, "but our goal is advancing the AMIA case. We want to know the truth about the attack."

Iran until now has resisted any cooperation with Argentina or international authorities in the bombing.

Timerman, who is Jewish, quoted Deuteronomy: "Justice, justice shall thou pursue."

He was especially scornful of some Israeli criticism of the proposed pact.

"Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told me that we cannot sign agreement with Iran," he said. "So maybe he wants that we kidnap the suspects or put a bomb below the car of one of them."

Also testifying was Julio Schlosser, the president of DAIA, a Jewish umbrella group, who likened the pact to dealing with Holocaust deniers.

"We reject the memorandum because our counterpart is not dependable," he said.

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