Argentina has denied it is suspending commercial ties with Iran worth a billion US dollars annually. The Argentine Jewish news agency and several Argentine newspapers earlier reported the suspension.
They said it was over differences in an investigation into a bomb attack on a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people. But the Argentine Justice, Security and Human Rights ministry later said that no such statement had been made. The confusion came as members of the American Jewish Committee were preparing to meet President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Apparently the source of the information was Julio Schloser secretary general of the Jewish Argentine Mutual Association, AMIA. At the top of their agenda was precisely the investigation into the 1994 bomb attack on the AMIA centre in which 85 people were killed and hundreds injured. No one has ever been convicted in connection with the killings. But Argentine authorities believe the attack was carried out by Lebanese Islamic movement Hezbollah, with the backing of the then Iranian government. Argentina has asked for the extradition of five Iranian politicians and diplomats in office at the time. Both Iran and Hezbollah have denied any part in the attack. Argentina has the second largest Jewish community only after the United States in the Americas.