Friday, November 17, 2006

Xinhua: "Argentina beefs up security measures after row with Iran"

This is via Iran Focus:
The Argentine government on Thursday stepped up security measures at key locations in the country, including U.S. and Israeli embassies and Jewish community centers, in response to a growing diplomatic crisis with Iran.

President Nestor Kirchner ordered the police and the Intelligence Ministry to be on the alert for incidents similar to the 1994 bombing, allegedly plotted by former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani and other high-ranking Iranian officials.

There were also measures in the so-called "triple border" where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil come together, an area highlighted as a center for Islamic militants by the United States.

Iran and Argentina have witnessed tense diplomatic relations since Nov. 9, when Argentine Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral ordered an international warrant for the arrest of Rafsanjani and eight others on charges of masterminding the 1994 bombing in the South American country.

On July 18, 1994, a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires was attacked and reduced to ruins by a suicide bomber. Eighty-five people were killed and 151 were injured in the worst terrorist attack ever on Argentine soil.

In Tehran, Iran's Attorney General Abdel Samad said Argentina's accusations were "empty," and responded by issuing an international arrest warrant for the case's lead prosecutor Alberto Nisman, as well as a former judge in the case, Juan Jose Galeano.

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