Argentine Senate approves deal with Iran to probe bombing

February 22, 2013 04:37

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's Senate approved on Thursday an agreement with Iran to set up an international "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

The two governments reached the agreement last month on how to deal with the attack in which Argentine court authorities have accused Iranian officials, including the defense minister, of involvement. Iran has denied any link to the bombing.

Many Jewish groups in Argentina and abroad reject the accord, saying it gives credibility to Iran at a time when the United States is leading efforts to isolate the country over its disputed nuclear program.

Critics also say it is unconstitutional for the executive branch to get involved in judicial matters and that the international commission's findings could hurt Argentina's court case.

Senators voted 39-31 to approve the accord, with most of the political opposition voting against it. The bill will now pass to the lower house, which is also controlled by government allies and could vote as early as next week.

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