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Argentina rebuffs Israeli anger over 1994 bombing probe


13:32, January 30, 2013

BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Argentina said Tuesday that it "vehemently rejected" Israel's demand for explanations on a joint commission set up by Argentina and Iran to probe the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

"The attack suffered by our people on July 18, 1994 did not involve any Israeli citizen. The victims were mostly Argentine citizens and include six Bolivians, two Poles and a Chilean," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Argentina's Ambassador Carlos Garcia to Israel was summoned to the foreign ministry for a clarification talk on the Memorandum of Understanding signed Sunday between Argentina and Iran.

Argentina's Foreign Ministry said it considered the "summons to demand explanations about sovereign decisions made by the Republic of Argentina to be an inappropriate act that we vehemently reject and that goes against the traditional ties of friendship existing between both countries."

On Sunday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announced the "historic" agreement with Iran and said the five-member commission will be composed of "internationally renowned legal experts," none of whom is from either of the two countries to ensure objectivity.

On July 18, 1994, a bomb leveled a seven-story building housing the Israeli-Argentinean Mutual Aid Association (AMIA), killing 85 people and injuring more than 700 others.

In 2006, Argentinean prosecutors accused Iran of masterminding the attack and Hezbollah of carrying out the bombing. But Iran has denied any involvement.

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