Publishe Date: 1:01 PM - 5/17/2014 | Print

Iran Slams Argentine Court Ruling on AMIA Probe

Politics - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham strongly condemned a ruling by an Argentinean federal court that rejects an agreement between Tehran and Buenos Aires for a joint investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing.

On Thursday, the federal court rejected the 2013 agreement between Argentina and Iran to jointly probe the deadly attack on the Jewish community center. On January 27, 2013, Iran and Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding on joint investigation into the attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, also known as AMIA, building in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people back in 1994.

"The Iranian government believes that the memorandum of understanding was a proper solution and opportunity for discovering the facts regarding the AMIA tragedy and the settlement of differences in that respect, but the measure by the Argentinean court deprived both sides of that opportunity,” Afkham told reporters.

She reiterated that Iran regrets and voices its discontent over the Argentinian court ruling.

Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor in the investigation of the AMIA explosion had argued in his appeal to the court that the 2013 agreement constituted an “undue interference of the executive branch in the exclusive sphere of the judiciary.”

The federal court ruled that the agreement was illegal, ordering the government not to go ahead with the case.

After the decision was announced, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said the ruling was “a mistake” and that the government will take the case to Argentina’s Supreme Court of Justice.

Meantime, Justice Minister Julio Alak also said a final decision was left to the Supreme Court.

Under intense political pressure imposed by the United States and the Israeli regime, Argentina accused Iran of having carried out the bombing.

Iran has categorically and consistently denied any involvement in the terrorist act.

In January 2013, Tehran and Buenos Aires signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly probe the 1994 bombing.

On January 27, 2013, former Iranian foreign minister and Timmerman signed an agreement to jointly probe into the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people in 1994.

"This initiative has prevented some countries and political currents from interfering in our good relations with the Latin American states," former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mehman-Parast said at the time.

He noted that Israel was trying to link the AMIA deadly incident to Iran, but Tehran's agreement with Buenos Aires prevented Tel Aviv from achieving its goal.

"The AMIA bombing is a fully suspicious case and no independent and impartial fact-finding mission had ever been commissioned to deal with it (before)," Mehman-Parast added.

After Iran and Argentina signed the deal over AMIA, the Israeli regime showed an angry reaction. "We are stunned by this news item and we will want to receive from the Argentine government a complete picture as to what was agreed upon because this entire affair affects Israel directly," Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Yigal Palmor said on January 28, 2013.

In a statement on January 30, however, the Argentinean Foreign Ministry said Israel's demand for explanation over the agreement, described by Argentinean President Fernandez as "historic," was an "improper action that is strongly rejected."

Under intense political pressure from the US and Israel, Argentina had formally accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack. The Islamic Republic has categorically denied any involvement in the terrorist bombing.

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