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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
Iran denies Argentina bomb charge
The aftermath of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish centre in Buenos Aires
The blast was the worst terror attack in Argentina's history
Iran has strongly criticised charges against former high-level Iranian officials over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires.

Argentine prosecutors are calling for the arrest of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani and seven others.

Iranian authorities are accused of directing Lebanese militia group Hezbollah to carry out the attack, which killed 85 people and injured 300.

The Iranian foreign ministry described the move as "a Zionist plot".

Hezbollah and Iran both deny that they were involved in the blast.

Speaking on state radio, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hoseyni said: "The new fabrications are conducted within the framework of a Zionist plot."

Mr Hoseyni said the charges were intended to divert "world attention from the perpetration of crimes by the Zionists against women and children in Palestine".

The blast, on 18 July 1994, reduced the seven-storey Jewish-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) community centre to rubble.

No-one has ever been convicted of the attack, but the current government has said it is determined to secure justice.


Over the years, the case has been marked by rumours of cover-ups and accusations of incompetence, but little in the way of hard evidence.

Minor figures have been named, including a policeman who sold the van used in the attack, but no-one has been convicted.

Local Jewish groups have long said the bombing bore the hallmarks of Iranian-backed Islamic militants.

Iran has repeatedly and vehemently denied any involvement in the attack.

Last November, an Argentine prosecutor said a member of Hezbollah was behind the attack and had been identified in a joint operation by Argentine intelligence and the FBI.

But Hezbollah said that the man, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, had died in southern Lebanon while fighting Israel.

The 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 people, also remains unsolved.

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