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Argentina charges Iran, Hezbollah of 1994 Jewish centre attack

Prosecutors in Argentina Wednesday formally accused Iran and the militant group Hezbollah of being behind the bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Prosecutors in Argentina Wednesday formally accused Iran and the militant group Hezbollah of being behind the bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Eighty-five people died and more than 300 were injured in the attack.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman asked a judge to issue arrest warrants against top Iranian officials, including former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.He told a news conference in Buenos Airesthat the "highest authorities" in Iran had directly ordered Hezbollah militants to carry out the attack.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have denied any role in the bombing.

No one has ever been convicted of involvement in the attack, although in 2004, a court in the Argentine capital acquitted 21 former police officers and another man — all Argentine— of charges that they aided the attackers.

The judge in that case criticized a number of Argentine government officials, including a former cabinet minister, for their role in the botched investigation into the attack.

Argentina's Jewish community— at 300,000, the largest in South America— has also been highly critical of the government's seeming inability to convict anyone of involvement in the crime.

The bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992, in which 29 people were killed, also remains unsolved.

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