|Iranian parliament to vote on AMIA deal||
TEHRAN – The cabinet has presented a bill to the Majlis to approve a deal with Argentina intended to investigate the bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires in 1994 in which 85 people were killed.
The bill needs to be passed by the Iranian parliament before it goes into effect, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told IRNA on Sunday.
Iran and Argentina signed a memorandum of understanding in January on how to deal with the attack in which Argentine court authorities have accused a number of Iranians of involvement. Iran has denied any link to the bombing.
The agreement stipulates that a commission - made up of five foreign legal experts - will outline plans for Argentine judicial officials to travel to Tehran to question Iranians accused of having links to the AMIA attack.
Commission members will analyze the documents presented by both nations’ judicial authorities and “issue a report containing recommendations on how to proceed with the case”, according to the deal.
The Argentine Congress has also approved the agreement with the senators voting 39-31 in favor.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has defended the agreement, saying, “My commitment with this case is to know the truth, not only what happened abroad but what happened here too. I want to know who were the ones to cover up, to hide evidence; I deserve to know it as an Argentinean and the victims and their families deserve it too.”
She also said that it could shed new light on the case after years of deadlock.
Her supporters hailed the deal as an historic opportunity.
“This memorandum represents a bold decision, a brave decision that opens a possible path toward the truth,” said ruling party lawmaker Mara Brawer during a heated 12-hour debate as Jewish community groups protested outside Congress.
The pact signed with Tehran has been criticized by Israel and Jewish groups who fear it could end up weakening the case against Iran. They also see it as a diplomatic victory for Iran.
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