Reuters: Argentina on Monday accused Iran of meddling in its internal affairs in the latest diplomatic back-and-forth over Argentina’s accusations that Iranian officials were behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Argentina on Monday accused Iran of meddling in its internal affairs in the latest diplomatic back-and-forth over Argentina’s accusations that Iranian officials were behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
An Argentine Foreign Ministry official asked Iran’s Charge d’Affaires Mohsen Baharvand to explain reports that a top Iranian prosecutor demanded arrest warrants for Argentine officials days after Argentina had asked for the arrest of Iranians accused in the attack.
The official also gave Baharvand a letter rejecting Iranian criticisms of its probe of the bombing, which killed 85 people and wounded 200.
Iran’s complaint “prejudges the content of the ongoing judicial actions and includes statements that are an interference in Argentine internal affairs,” the letter said, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
Argentine federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral on Thursday ordered an international warrant for the arrest of former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight others on charges of masterminding the July 18, 1994, attack.
On Saturday Iran said the accusations were baseless. Iranian state radio said a top Iranian prosecutor had demanded an arrest warrant be issued for the prosecutor on the case and other judicial officials, including former Judge Juan Jose Galeano who was previously in charge of the case.
A government source told reporters at the national palace that President Nestor Kirchner had asked for the resignation of a top government official who had publicly sided with Iran.
Luis D’Elia, a controversial undersecretary for land and habitat and an outspoken far-left member of Kirchner’s team, had visited the Iranian diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires to deliver a letter that criticized the judge on the case.
It was not known if D’Elia had resigned.
In the 1994 attack, a truck with explosives leveled the seven-floor Argentine Israeli Mutual Association building, a symbol of the country’s Jewish community — Latin America’s largest.
Argentine, Israeli and U.S. officials have long blamed the bombing on Hezbollah guerrillas backed by Iran.
In court documents, Argentine prosecutors say the attack could have been tied to Argentina’s decision to stop providing Iran with nuclear technology and materials.