07262014Sat

Argentine president defends accord with Iran over bombing

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez defended a pact with Iran to set up a "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and asked Congress on Thursday to approve the accord.

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 as it faces international isolation over its nuclear program.

"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," the left-leaning Fernandez said in a speech, refuting criticism over the accord.

"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.

In 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians, including Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, and a Lebanese citizen.

(Reporting by Helen Popper; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Search

Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE