TEHRAN – An Argentine Federal court on Thursday struck down an agreement between the South American country and Iran to jointly investigate the deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that local courts blamed on Tehran, Reuters reported.
Tehran denies links to the 1994 bombing but offered talks with Argentina in 2011 to start “shedding light” on the case.
Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who oversaw an investigation of the AMIA center explosion that killed 85 people, had argued in his appeal to the court that in negotiating the 2013 deal with Iran, the executive branch had overstepped into areas reserved for the judiciary.
Thursday’s ruling declared the agreement unconstitutional and ordered Argentina not to go ahead with it.
The government said it will appeal the ruling to Argentina’s Supreme Court.
“We have notified the government of Iran of our decision to appeal,” said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. “If the lower court’s ruling is allowed to stand, it would close a concrete possibility of making the inquiries that could lead to a trial.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Friday and expressed Tehran’s disappointment over the decision.
Iran says deal had provided proper opportunity to find out the truth behind AMIA tragedy
In the statement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said that the agreement between Iran and Argentina had provided a proper opportunity to find out the truth regarding the AMIA tragedy and resolve the withstanding issues. The two sides are deprived of this opportunity, the statement added.
Israel and world Jewish groups had denounced the “truth commission” deal with Iran, calling it a diplomatic win for Tehran that offered no benefit to Argentina. The deal would have let Iran review Argentina’s investigation into the bombing.
News of the decision, released late Thursday night, was the latest blow suffered by President Cristina Fernandez. With a year and half to go before the end of her second and final term, Fernandez’s popularity has been hurt by a weakening economy and one of the world’s highest inflation rates.
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