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Arrest Made in 1994 Bombing of Jewish Cultural Center in Argentina

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by expat, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. expat

    expat TRIBE Member

    From cnn.com

    Argentine Jewish bomb: Envoy held
    Friday, August 22, 2003

    LONDON, England -- A former Iranian ambassador to Argentina is due to appear in a British court over the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people.

    Hade Soleimanpour, 47, was arrested Thursday at his home in Durham, northeast England, on an extradition warrant, police sources said.

    Soleimanpour, who is a research student in Durham, was scheduled to appear at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London Friday.

    A judge in Argentina last week issued an arrest warrant through Interpol for Soleimanpour and seven other Iranian officials in connection with the car bombing, which also injured about 200 people.

    Israel and the United States have long said they suspected Iranian-backed Middle Eastern guerillas were responsible for the attack. Iran, branded by Washington as one of an "axis of evil" states that sponsor terrorism, denies involvement.

    Police said Soleimanpour was arrested on a warrant alleging that on or before July 18, 1994 he conspired with others to murder people at the AMIA Jewish center.

    Tehran, which withdrew its ambassador to Argentina after being implicated in the bomb, reacted angrily to the arrest.

    "The measure had been politically motivated and has been carried out under the influence of the Zionists. It is meant to serve the interests of the Zionist regime," the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi as saying.

    Marta Nercellas, the lawyer representing the AMIA center in Buenos Aires, said she believed Britain would extradite Soleimanpour, who she said did not have diplomatic immunity.

    "He participated in a very concrete way in organizing the attack. The (Iranian) embassy in Argentina was used as the base from which they gathered intelligence information that had to do with the massacre," Nercellas told Argentine television.

    "This is going to allow us to make progress in finding the international connection."

    Argentina's 300,000-strong Jewish community is the biggest in Latin America and the seventh largest in the world. In 1992, the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was bombed, killing 29 people.

    From the bbc.com
    Iran ex-envoy held in bomb probe

    No one has been charged over the 1994 bombing
    A former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, wanted there in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre, has been arrested in the UK.
    The former ambassador, Hadi Soleimanpour, is due to appear in court in London on Friday.

    Magistrates will decide whether to extradite him to Argentina to face charges of conspiracy arising from the attack, in which 85 people were killed.

    The Argentine intelligence service has long believed Iran was behind the car bomb attack in Buenos Aires - a charge Iran has repeatedly denied.

    Mr Soleimanpour, 47, was arrested in northern England, where he works as a research assistant at Durham University.

    "This is extremely important because it is the first arrest in the international leads in this case, and starting from it we can make progress on how the attack was organised," Marta Nercellas, a lawyer for the Argentine Jewish Associations Federation, told reporters.

    The extradition warrant was one of eight issued by an Argentine judge, Juan Jose Galeano, against Iranian citizens last week.

    Similar warrants issued in March against four Iranian diplomats caused tension between Buenos Aires and Tehran, and resulted in the recall of the Iranian ambassador.

    The community centre that was blown up was the main such centre for Jews in Argentina, which has the largest Jewish population in Latin America.

    Last month, Argentine President Nestor Kirchner said the lack of progress in the case was a "national disgrace" and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.
  2. expat

    expat TRIBE Member

    some commentary on this from www.oxblog.com:

    This, incidentally, is a very, very good thing. Hade Soleimanpour - who served as Iran's ambassador in Buenos Aires in 1994 when Iranian intelligence conspired with Hizbullah to bomb the city's Jewish community center, an event which killed 85 members of the Argentine Jewish community and followed by a year the destruction of the Israeli embassy in that city by Iranian intelligence and Hizbullah - was served an extradition warrant yesterday in Durham, and will appear today before a magistrate in London. Menem and his cronies subsequently accepted a bribe of $10 million from Tehran to obscure judicial investigations of Iran's role in the bombings (the bribe was placed in Menem's personal bank account in Switzerland, and among other substantiating accounts, a defector from Iranian intelligence has testified profusely on the extent of collaboration between Menem's corrupt government and the secret arms of the Iranian mullahs). However, now that the Argentine judiciary is being swept clean of Menem's corrupt hacks, a judge issued a warrant last week for Soleimanpour and seven other Iranian intelligence and foreign ministry officials.

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