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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 02:32 GMT
Iran diplomat called in bomb row
The aftermath of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires
It was Argentina's worst terror attack
The Argentine foreign minister has summoned Iran's top diplomat in a growing row over the deadly bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aries in 1994.

It comes after Iran threatened to take "appropriate measures" after an Argentine judge sought the arrest of four Iranian officials for alleged involvement in the attack.

Some 85 people were killed and hundreds more wounded when a car bomb blew up outside the building in the city's Jewish district.

The Argentine intelligence service has long believed Iran was behind the attack, a charge Iran has denied.

'Baseless allegations'

Iran reacted angrily after the judge asked Interpol to arrest:

  • Ali Fallahian, the former Iranian intelligence minister
  • Mohsen Rabbani, the former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires
  • Ali Balesh Abadi, a diplomat
  • Ali Akbar Parvaresh, a former education minister.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi accused Israel of being behind the "baseless allegations".

"There has been no convincing proof of Iran's involvement in that incident, and we have repeatedly said that these rumours and reports are made up by Zionist circles," he said.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Iranian Vice-Foreign Minister Ali Ahani as saying Iran "does not tolerate such acts and will take appropriate measures... to obtain reparation".

Interpol role

Argentine Foreign Minister Carlos Ruckhauf summoned the Iranian charge d'affaires Mohammad Ali Tabatabaei for an explanation.

Mr Ruckhauf said he told Mr Tabatabaei the Argentine Government was not involved with the request for the men's arrests.

"This is a case being investigated by a judge not by the government and we hope Iran understands that," he said.

Reuters news agency quoted an unnamed Argentine foreign ministry official as saying Mr Tabatabaei had said it was "too early" to say what his government meant by "appropriate measures".

Interpol said it was studying the request for the men's arrests.

No-one has been charged over the bombing, the worst act of terror in the country's history.


SEE ALSO:
Iran denies Argentina blast role
09 Mar 03 |  Americas
Argentina Jewish bomb trial starts
24 Sep 01 |  Americas


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