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Iran Scoffs at Argentina's Terror Charges

Iran has scoffed at charges levelled by the Argentine prosecutor investigating an anti-Jewish attack in Buenos Aires.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/5/2013, 6:13 AM

Aftermath of AMIA bombing
Aftermath of AMIA bombing
AFP/File

Iran has scoffed at charges levelled by the Argentine prosecutor investigating an anti-Jewish attack that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires in 1994, AFP reported.

Last week, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Iran of infiltrating several South American countries "to install intelligence stations -- in other words espionage bases -- destined to commit, encourage and sponsor terror attacks like the one that took place against AMIA."

He was referring to the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation building in Buenos Aires in 1994, the worst attack of its kind ever in Argentina.

Nisman, who is in charge of investigating the bombing, also accused Iran of "making dual use of diplomatic agencies as well as cultural and charitable associations to conceal terrorist activities".

However, an Iranian foreign ministry official on Monday dismissed Nisman's charges.

"Considering the history of this individual, we don't attach any importance to his statements," the unnamed official was quoted as saying by Iran's official IRNA news agency.

Argentine courts have charged eight current and former senior Iranian officials over the bombing, including Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and ex-Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai -- both candidates in the June 14 presidential elections -- along with former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

In addition to the AMIA attack, the Argentine authorities also suspect Iran of being behind the 1992 car bombing in front of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 and wounded 200.

Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in these attacks.

Nisman's charges came just days after Iran approved a memorandum of understanding with Argentina on forming a truth commission to investigate the AMIA bombing.

Argentina's Congress approved the agreement on February 28, after President Cristina Kirchner assured that it would allow the Argentina judge in charge of the case to question the Iranian accused. Iran has denied that any Iranians facing international arrest warrants over the bombing would be questioned by the Argentine judge.

The Argentine opposition and representatives of the country's 300,000-strong Jewish community strenuously opposed the agreement.

A U.S. report last week said that in 2012, Iran boosted its support for global terrorism to levels not seen for two decades.