‘Iran ready to identify AMIA bombing perpetrators’

By Jerusalem Post

Tehran continues to deny involvement in the 1994 attack on Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85, injured hundreds; Interpol has issued arrest warrants against five Iranians including defense minister.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday that Tehran was ready to discuss the 1994 terrorist bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center.

Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters that the Iranian and Argentinian foreign ministers had agreed to mutual talks a month ago, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported.

85 people were killed and hundreds more injured on July 18, 1994 when a car bomb exploded in front of the AMIA Jewish community center building in the Argentinian capital. Two years earlier, the Islamic Jihad organization bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.

In 2006, Argentinian prosecutors formally accused Iran of plotting the bomb attack, and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah of perpetrating it.

Mehmanparast made his comments during his weekly press conference in Tehran. The foreign ministry spokesman said Iran was ready to “carefully scrutinize” and identify the perpetrators of the blast, but repeated denials that any Iranian citizens had been involved in the deadly terrorist attack.

“We condemn terrorism, we reject any accusations against our citizens and we declare our readiness to have a detailed review of who the perpetrators of this incident were. The negotiations are ongoing and will continue until a clear conclusion is reached,” Mehmanparast said.

Mehmanparast’s comments came after the Argentinian foreign ministry announced on Monday that Iran and Argentina had agreed to open bilateral negotiations to discuss the bombing. Argentina’s Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish, met September 27 with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, at UN headquarters in New York to discuss the AMIA bombing case, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

In 2006, Argentina’s state prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, issued arrest warrants against eight individuals in connection with the AMIA attack, among them Mohsen Rezaee, former chief commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and current defense minister Ahmad Vahidi, who previously headed the IRGC’s extraterritorial Qods Force unit.

Interpol later confirmed arrest warrants, known as Red Notices, against five Iranians and a Lebanese citizen, including Rezaee and Vahidi.

Rezaee, who currently serves as the Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, announced in June that he plans to run in Iran’s 2013 presidential elections.


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