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Argentina Urges Iran To Cooperate On 1994 Bombing

Argentine authorities say suspects in the AMIA bombing include ex-President Hashemi-Rafsanjani (top left)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez has asked Iran to hand over several citizens suspected of planning the deadly 1994 bombing of an Argentinian Jewish center, so that they can face a local trial.

"I would ask the Islamic Republic of Iran in accordance with international law...accept that Argentine justice can put on trial...those citizens who have been accused," Fernandez told the UN General Assembly in New York.

Argentina has asked for the arrest of former Iranian President Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, seven other Iranians, and a former Hizballah guerrilla leader on charges that they masterminded the blast, which killed 85 people.

Interpol, the international police agency, has issued arrest orders for six of the suspects. Interpol notices seek the arrest of a suspect so that they can be extradited. But they do not force a country to arrest a suspect.

Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack and blames the United States for trying to implicate the Islamic republic.

Tehran has made an Interpol request for the arrest of five Argentines for making false charges against Iran and bribery.

The bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Argentina came two years after an explosion destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and killed 29 people. Neither crime has been solved.