The Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister confirmed on the weekend that his country has ratified the agreement signed with Argentina earlier this year regarding investigation into the terrorist attacks on the AMIA building.
The development regards the ratification of the memorandum of understanding, the agreement to investigate the terrorist attacks on AMIA which was signed in January.
The agreement was ratified by the Argentine Congress in February, and despite the Iranian embassy announcing in May that its government had approved it as well, doubts remained on the Argentine side. However, after a meeting between Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister Héctor Timerman and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in New York, Timerman confirmed that “the memorandum was approved by the [Iranian] National Defence Council, which is led by the President and whose decisions must be ratified, and so it happened, by the Revolution’s Supreme Leader.”
The two ministers met twice at the UN building in New York on Saturday, to discuss Iran’s ratification and how to advance on the implementation of the agreement. It has been confirmed that Timerman and Zarif will have further discussions in Geneva in November regarding the issue.
The ratification of the agreement will allow Argentine officials to travel to Iran to question Iranians suspected of involvement with the attack, which Iran has refused to extradite to Argentina. The discussions on Saturday explored setting a date for Argentine court officials to travel to Tehran to continue with the investigation.
The meetings of the Foreign Affairs Ministers followed President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s discussion of the topic at the 68th UN General Assembly. There, President Fernandez expressed her hope last week of “having a positive response” from the new Iranian government of President Hassan Rohani with regards to her request to further investigate the 1994 attack.
Despite the discussions, the agreement has not yet been made effective due to a bureaucratic obstacle – an exchange of diplomatic letters between Argentina and Iran is necessary before the investigation can proceed.
The terrorist attacks on the Jewish building AMIA were committed in Buenos Aires in 1994 and Iranian involvement is heavily suspected by the case’s prosecutor. The Jewish organisation AMIA was targeted with explosives; 85 people were killed.