The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it was shocked on Monday at news of a decision by Iran and Argentina to establish a “truth committee” to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“The announcement came as a complete surprise and shock,” ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP news agency. “We warned the Argentineans that the Iranians were trying to manipulate them and set a trap for them that they will use for their propaganda purposes.”
The news comes after Argentina’s courts have already issued Interpol warrants against five Iranians and a Lebanese for the attack, including Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
Palmor said that Israel had no details about the “truth committee” beyond what appeared in the media, and was waiting to hear explanations from Argentinean officials.
The attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building on July 18, 1994, was Argentina’s deadliest-ever bombing and also left hundreds wounded.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said foreign ministers from her country and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding during a meeting in Ethiopia.
The commission, according to the accord, will be made up of foreign legal experts “to analyze all the documentation presented to date by the judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran,” she said.
After analyzing the evidence, “the commission will issue a report with recommendations about how the case should proceed within the legal and regulatory framework of both parties,” according to the agreement.
It also outlines plans for Argentine legal officials to meet in Tehran to question “those people for whom Interpol has issued a red notice.”