Iran denies officials to be questioned over Buenos Aires bombing

DUBAI Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:03am EST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Tehran denied on Tuesday it had agreed to allow international investigators to question Iranian officials over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires as part of a plan to form a truth commission.

Following the bombing which killed 85 people, Argentinian authorities in 2007 secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Lebanese. Iran denies links to the attack.

Argentina said last month it had agreed with Iran to establish a "truth commission" made up of foreign legal experts to review all the relevant documentations of the attack, which Argentine courts accuse Tehran of sponsoring.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday denied plans that Iranian officials would be questioned over the bombing.

"This report is a lie," Mehmanparast said during a news conference in Tehran reported by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

Israel and Jewish groups had criticized the pact as they fear it could weaken the case against Iranian officials. It was also seen as a diplomatic victory for Iran as it faces international isolation and sanctions over its nuclear program.

The memorandum of understanding between Iran and Argentina reportedly outlined plans for Argentine legal officials to meet in Tehran to question people named by Interpol.

Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the Iranian officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America's largest Jewish community.

(Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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