19 de noviembre 2003 - 00:00

Iran diplomat accused in 1994 bombing returns home

A former senior Iranian diplomat accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of AMIA Jewish centre in Argentina returned to Iran on Wednesday following Britain's decision not to extradite him. The British Home Office said last week Argentina had failed to provide sufficient evidence to merit Hadi Soleimanpour's extradition to Buenos Aires to be tried in connection with the attack in which 85 people were killed.

Iran diplomat accused in 1994 bombing returns home
A former senior Iranian diplomat accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina returned to Iran on Wednesday following Britain's decision not to extradite him, state media reported.

The British Home Office said last week Argentina had failed to provide sufficient evidence to merit Hadi Soleimanpour's extradition to Buenos Aires to be tried in connection with the attack in which 85 people were killed.

Iran has long denied any involvement in the attack and said Britain's decision proved the case was baseless and "politically motivated".

"The plot has so far been foiled, but further work still needs to be done," Soleimanpour, who was Iran's ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, told reporters on his return to Tehran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Britain has said proceedings against Soleimanpour could be resumed if Argentina produces the necessary evidence. Israel and the United States have said they suspect guerrillas backed by Iran were behind the attack on the Jewish centre.

The Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), said in a statement after Soleimanpour's release that Britain's decision was "arbitrary and political."

Iran cut economic and cultural ties with Argentina in August after Britain arrested Soleimanpour at Buenos Aires' request. Soleimanpour, who had been studying at the University of Durham in northeastern England, was released on bail in September. "My studies have been completed," he said when asked if he intended to return to England.

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