Argentina Lawmakers Debate Iran Deal Over 1994 Attack
Argentine lawmakers on Wednesday appeared set to approve an agreement with Iran to set up a "truth commission" into a deadly 1994 bombing despite opposition from the Latin American country's Jewish community, AFP reported.
The Senate gave the green light for the deal last week and Agustin Rossi, the majority leader in the Chamber of Deputies, said he and fellow allies of President Cristina Kirchner had gathered enough votes to approve the deal.
Argentina has long suspected Iran of being behind the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish charities building, which killed 85 people and came two years after a similar attack on the Israeli embassy. Tehran has denied any involvement.
The latest deal would set up an independent "truth commission" to probe the bombing, which the Argentine government says will pave the way for eight Iranian suspects to be questioned by an Argentine judge.
The eight include Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who have had international arrests warrants out against them since 2006.
Iran, however, has insisted none of the suspects will be questioned.
The agreement to set up the commission has been sharply criticized by Israel and Argentina's 300,000-strong Jewish community -- the largest in Latin America -- which have called on authorities to continue to try to apprehend the suspects and put them on trial.
"What kind of cooperation can we have with (Iran)? The bombing is being debated with the Iranian government, which ordered it," opposition legislator Ricardo Gil Lavedra said during the debate on the bill, AFP reported.
"We'll be in the streets to reject the deal," Rabbi Sergio Berman, a local legislator, told a press conference, as he called for a rally in front of Congress.