Argentinian Jewish leaders urge foreign minister not to meet Iranian counterpart

(JTA) — Argentinian Jewish leaders are urging their country to reject Iran’s request for a meeting of their respective foreign ministers at the U.N. General Assembly.

The Argentinian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi had requested an audience next week at the General Assembly in New York with Hector Timerman to discuss the AMIA bombing case.

Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the bombing that the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah is accused of carrying out. The 1994 attack on the Jewish community’s main building killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. No arrests have been made but six Iranians — including Gen. Ahmed Vahidi, the country’s defense minister — have been on the Interpol Most Wanted list since 2007 in connection with the attack.

“The government must demand that Iran collaborates with justice and that all Iranian suspects that have international arrest warrants by Interpol are brought before the Argentinian courts,” Aldo Donzis, the head of Argentina Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, told JTA.

Likewise, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to the Argentinian government questioning the proposed meeting. 

“No dialogue between Argentina and Iran can be valid until justice is obtained for the victims of the AMIA bombing and Iran – in violation of the UN Charter – abandons its genocidal nuclear program targeting Israel, a state friendly to Argentina,” Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director of international relations, told JTA. 

Tehran in a July 16, 2011 statement said it was willing to hold “constructive dialogue” with Argentina to “shed all possible light” on the case. It offered condolences to the victims’ families while denying responsibility for the blast. 

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

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