Argentine president defends AMIA deal with Iran
TEHRAN – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has defended an agreement between Iran and Argentina to set up an international “truth commission” to investigate the bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people, the Buenos Aires Herald reported on Friday.
Fernandez has said, “My commitment with this case is to know the truth, not only what happened abroad but what happened here too. I want to know who were the ones to cover up, to hide evidence; I deserve to know it as an Argentinean and the victims and their families deserve it too.”
According to the report, she has also condemned the “complicity” of Jewish community leaders in the AMIA attack.
Argentina’s Congress approved an agreement with Iran to probe the AMIA bombing on Thursday.
The two governments signed a memorandum of understanding in January on how to deal with the attack in which Argentine court authorities have accused a number of Iranians of involvement. Iran has denied any link to the bombing.
The pact signed with Tehran has been criticized by Israel and Jewish groups, who fear it could end up weakening the case against Iran. They also see it as a diplomatic victory for Iran.
The agreement stipulates that a commission – made up of five foreign legal experts – will outline plans for Argentine judicial officials to travel to Tehran to question Iranians accused of having links to the attack.
Commission members will analyze the documents presented by both nations’ judicial authorities and “issue a report containing recommendations on how to proceed with the case” according to the memorandum.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez had previously said it could shed new light on the case after years of deadlock.
Fernandez has close ties with other Latin American leaders who are on good terms with Tehran, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
Her supporters have hailed the memorandum of understanding as a historic opportunity.
Argentina’s Senate also approved the agreement last week.