Argentina offers to try Iranian officials in neutral country
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner made an offer Friday to Iran regarding a long-running judicial quarrel between the two countries, dpa reported.
As she addressed the UN General Assembly in New York, Fernandez de Kirchner said that Iranian suspects in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires be tried in a third country, if Tehran "does not trust Argentine Justice."
Eighty-five people were killed in the attack, which Argentine authorities have blamed on the Islamist militant organization Hezbollah.
Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi is one of the five Iranians accused of involvement in the terrorist attack against the Jewish centre. At the time of the bombing, Vahidi was head of the Quds Force, a special unit within the main elite force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Iran has persistently denied any involvement in the Buenos Aires attack and has rejected Argentine requests for extradition of the suspects.
Fernandez de Kirchner said Friday that she would no longer request extradition, instead seeking to hold trials in a third country, as was done in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing prosecution. The offer, she said, is intended to "put an end to the excuses" from Tehran.
While Fernandez de Kirchner mentioned no candidates, Brazil is Argentina's closest political and economic partner, as well as one of only a few countries around the world that still have solid ties with Iran.