Iran,Argentina agree to meet and discuss 90's bombings
Iran and Argentina have agreed to a meeting to discuss two 1990s attacks on Jewish targets in Buenos Aires that were allegedly sponsored by the Islamic Republic, Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Argentine courts have accused Iran of sponsoring a 1994 attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 people.
That assault came two years after a group linked to Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on the Israeli embassy in the Argentine capital, which killed 29. Tehran has denied links to either attack.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, said that after years of mostly fruitless diplomacy Iran had extended the offer to have a meeting last week.
Fernandez said the discussions would take place at the foreign minister level on the sidelines of the annual gathering of U.N. member states.
Iran "wants to cooperate and collaborate over the investigation" of the attacks, she said.
Iran has vehemently denied any role in the bombings for the past two decades, and it was unclear whether its decision to agree to a meeting now was related to mounting international pressure over its nuclear program.
Reuters reported in December, citing U.N. diplomats, that Argentina has quietly explored closer relations with Iran. The countries have seen growing trade ties, with Iran one of the biggest buyers of Argentine corn.
Nevertheless, Fernandez was careful to say that she would consult victims of the bombings during any talks - highlighting the political sensitivities she faces in Argentina, which is home to Latin America's largest Jewish population.
She also reiterated a previous offer to have courts in a third-party country investigate the bombings.
"I must tell you I expect results from this meeting," she said.