Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Israel 'surprised' by Argentina-Iran deal on commission

Agreement between Argentina and Iran to create an independent commission to investigate 1994 attack on Buenos Aires Jewish centre 'shocks' Israel.

JERUSALEM // Israel's foreign ministry said today it was shocked by Argentina's agreement with Iran to create an independent commission to investigate the 1994 attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish centre.

"We were surprised by the news," the foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. "We are waiting to receive full details from the Argentines on what is going on because this subject is obviously directly related to Israel."

Cristina Kirchner, the Argentine president, on Sunday said that her country and Iran had agreed to create a "truth commission" with five independent judges, none of whom can come from either Iran or Argentina.

Ms Kirchner said the agreement may allow Argentine authorities to finally question suspects currently the subject of Interpol "red notices".

Argentina has long accused Iran of masterminding the attack and has since 2006 sought the extradition of eight Iranians, including Iran's current defence minister, Ahmad Vahidi, and the former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Iran has always denied any involvement in the bombing, in which 85 people died, and has refused to arrest the suspects.

The accord comes after several months of negotiations, starting in October at the United Nations in Geneva, aimed at resolving the pending legal actions.

The discussions have drawn criticism from both Israel and Argentina's 300,000-strong Jewish community, the largest in Latin America.

Both have demanded there be no let-up in the Argentine authorities' efforts to put the Iranian suspects on trial.

"We warned the Argentines from the start that the Iranians would try to set a trap for them and that they should beware," Mr Palmor said.

The July 18, 1994 bombing occurred when a van loaded with explosives blew up outside the Argentine Jewish Mutual Aid Association (AMIA), levelling the seven-floor building housing the charities federation.

It came two years after an attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded 200.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greeted by university students as he leaves Sistan University in Sistan and Baluchestan’s provincial capital of Zahedan on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

In Iran’s most troubled province, Rouhani hears pleas for change

Hassan Rounani aims to connect with residents of far-flung Sistan and Baluchestan province.

 Prince Bandar bin Sultan in Riyadh on March 3, 2007. Hassan Ammar / AFP Photo

Saudi Prince Bandar promised a victory he could not deliver

Saudi Arabia's controversial intelligence chief stepped down this week after rumours that his policies on Syria had fallen out of favour.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. AFP Photo

The inner workings of Gulen’s ‘parallel state’

Fethullah Gulen's followers are accused of trying to push Turkey's prime minister from power.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National