|Argentine president defends accord with Iran over AMIA bombing||
TEHRAN – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez defended the decision to sign a pact with Iran to set up a “truth commission” to investigate the bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires in 1994 and asked the Argentine Congress on Thursday to approve the accord, Reuters reported.
Argentine courts accuse Iran of sponsoring the attack, which killed 85 people. The pact signed with Tehran has been criticized by Israel and Jewish groups, who fear it could end up weakening the case against Iranian officials.
They also see it as a diplomatic victory for Iran.
“What I want to avoid… is the pain of the (victims’) families and the country’s shame by finding the path to break the deadlock,” Fernandez said in a speech, refuting criticism over the accord, Reuters reported.
“The memorandum of understanding we have signed is a step toward unblocking a case that has been paralyzed for 19 years,” she added. “Dialogue is a part of Argentina’s foreign policy.”
Fernandez said she sent a bill to Congress asking it to approve the agreement, which envisions the establishment of a five-member “truth commission” of international legal specialists.
It also outlines plans for Argentine prosecutors to travel to Tehran to question Iranians accused of links to the attack, which Iran denies any involvement in.
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