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Iran Approves Memorandum for Joint Probe of Buenos Aires Bombing

By: JTA

Iran approved the memorandum signed nine months ago with Argentina to jointly probe the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday at U.N. headquarters in New York that the bilateral agreement was approved by “competent authorities” in his country, according to the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper.

Zarif and his Argentinian counterpart, Hector Timerman, jointly announced the approval by the Iranians at the United Nations.

In her address last week before the U.N. General Assembly, Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez called on Iran to provide an update on the status of the memorandum.

“We are hoping they will tell us that the agreement has been approved [in Iran] and to settle a date when a judge will be able to fly to Tehran,” she told the Assembly.

There has been no agreement on a date for Argentinian investigators to travel to Iran to interview suspects. The next step will be the exchange of documents officially announcing that the governments have approved the memorandum of understanding.

The next bilateral meeting will be held in early November in Geneva. Both governments then must agree on the details and procedures of the Truth Commission made up of independent legal experts, from neither Argentina and Iran, who will be analyzing the evidence gathered on the AMIA attack and issue a report.

The bilateral accord to jointly investigate the July 1994 AMIA bombing came in January. The attack in Argentina’s capital city killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Argentina’s Jewish community, international Jewish groups, Israel and the United States have protested the agreement.

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