Iran TerrorismIran warns Argentina ahead of Kirchner UN speech

Iran warns Argentina ahead of Kirchner UN speech

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AFP: Iran has warned Argentina against joining the enemy camp if Argentine President Nestor Kirchner criticizes Tehran at the UN General Assembly, the Iranian ambassador said in an interview Friday. BUENOS AIRES (AFP) — Iran has warned Argentina against joining the enemy camp if Argentine President Nestor Kirchner criticizes Tehran at the UN General Assembly, the Iranian ambassador said in an interview Friday.

Kirchner is expected to mention Argentina’s probe into alleged Iranian involvement in a deadly attack on a Jewish association in 1994, a leading representative of the Argentine Jewish community told AFP.

Authorities have yet to convict anyone for the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association that left 85 dead and 300 injured.

But if Kirchner accuses Iran of wrongdoing, “numerous countries will understand that Argentina is in favor of war,” the Islamic republic’s ambassador to Buenos Aires Moshen Baharvand told the daily Clarin.

Highlighting that the General Assembly meeting was “very important” for Iran this year, Baharvand said the session would “reveal which countries are for and against Iran.”

But a source close to the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association said on condition of anonymity that Kirchner had “committed to bringing up the matter of the attack” against the group during his address to the world body.

Four relatives of victims from that attack also planned to travel to New York and attend the session with members of the Argentine delegation.

“It will be a strong signal from the Argentine government to the international community that light must be shed and the guilty must be punished,” the source said.

Leaders of top Jewish associations in Argentina were also expected to travel to New York for the annual UN session, and Baharvand accused them of organizing “parallel diplomacy” and trying to “blackmail” the Argentine government.

In 2006, an Argentine judge issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and other top Iranian officials in connection with the bombing.

Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral told AFP he had asked the government of Iran as well as Interpol to hand over the former president on a warrant issued for “crimes against humanity” in the bombing attack.

No one has ever been convicted for the bombing, Argentina’s worst terrorist attack, which occurred on the morning of July 9, 1994.

Another attack in 1992 on the Israeli embassy, in which 22 people were killed and 200 were wounded, also remains unsolved.

Argentina has the largest Jewish community in South America with about 300,000 people.

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