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US Doubts Iran-Argentina Pact

US "skeptical" of Argentina and Iran's decision to set up a commission to probe 1994 bombing of a Jewish center.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/31/2013, 8:40 PM

State Dept. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
State Dept. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
Israel news photo: Screenshot from State Dept.

The United States on Thursday cast doubt on Argentina and Iran's decision to set up a commission to probe the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

"We are skeptical that such a just solution can be found in the arrangement announced," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, according to AFP.

She denounced "Iran's record of cooperation" with international bodies as "profoundly deficient," saying that also raised concerns about whether Tehran would "be focused on achieving justice promptly."

 Israel has already protested the accord reached with Iran, summoning Argentina's ambassador on Tuesday to complain about the decision.

But Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, who announced the deal Sunday, 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 deadly attack, in which 85 people were killed, and since 2006 has sought the extradition of eight Iranians, including current Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Washington's position on the bombing "remains unchanged," Nuland said, adding "the Iranian government has a responsibility to cooperate fully with Argentine authorities in seeing that the perpetrators are brought to justice."