Argentina, Iran, pledge to continue AMIA talks

(JTA) – Argentina and Iran will continue discussing the AMIA bombing case until “they both find a mutually agreed solution.”

Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds injured in a July 18, 1994 bombing of the AMIA building, the Jewish community’s main complex in Buenos Ares, Argentina. Iran is accused of directing the bombing that the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah is accused of carrying out. 

Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Héctor Timerman, met Thursday evening with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, at UN headquarters in New York City to discuss the matter. 

In a joint statement, they announced that they would continue negotiations through government officials in Geneva next month.

“This process will not be interrupted until they both find a mutually agreed solution to the all matters between both governments related to the AMIA case … in order to explore a legal mechanism that is not at odds with the Argentine or Iranian legal systems,” the statement said.

The Islamic Republic announced in July 2011 its willingness to cooperate with Argentina’s investigation into the bombing. At the time, it’s foreign ministry condemned the attack and offered condolences to the families of those killed while denying any responsibility for the blast.

In October 2010, Iran rejected Argentina’s proposal to put its accused citizens on trial in a neutral country.

Iran’s foreign ministry last year offered a “constructive dialogue” with Argentina to “shed all possible light” on the case, according to a statement carried by IRNA, Iran’s official news agency.

Immediately prior to this week’s meeting of the foreign ministers, Jewish leaders expressed skepticism at the potential outcome of the talks.

“We can’t start a dialogue if there is a pending legal situation,” Aldo Donzis, president of the Argentinean Jewish umbrella group told journalists.  “Iran must present these suspected to the Argentinean justice.”

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