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Argentina clears Iran in bombing; criticises US and Israel

BUNEOS AIRES, March 15 (AFP) - The Argentine Supreme Court plans to issue a ruling that blames the militant Islamic Jihad movement for the 1992 car-bombing of the Israeli embassy here, court sources said Monday.

The draft ruling, which names the militant Islamic group, will also revise the death toll from the attack downwards from 29 to 22, said the sources who asked not to be named.

The court was also expected to criticise the United States and Israel for failing fully to cooperate with the investigation, court spokesmen said.

In particular, the ruling will accuse the two countries of being slow to respond to investigators' inquiries or not replying at all, court spokesmen said.

The judges will also clear the Iranian government of any role in the 1994 terrorist attack on the headquarters of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) which killed 86 and injured more than 200.

A lower court had earlier pinned responsibility for the bombing on Iran , prompting Argentina to reduce its diplomatic representation in Tehran to the level of trade emissaries.

Members of the Active Memory group, which includes family members of the bombing victims, have accused the Supreme Court of negligence and mishandling of the investigation.

"We accuse the judges ... of letting seven years lapse without pursuing basic investigative procedures," said Carlos Suzcevich, a spokesman for the group.

The group has also accused figures in the police, intelligence and security forces of being anti-Semitic.

The Israeli ambassador to Argentina, Yitzhak Aviran, said he would make a statement on the anniversary of the 1992 bombing on Wednesday.


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