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IRANIAN BLAMES U.S., ISRAEL FOR BOMB ACCUSATION

SHARE IRANIAN BLAMES U.S., ISRAEL FOR BOMB ACCUSATION

An Iranian Foreign Ministry official accused Argentina Thursday of caving in to American and Israeli pressure to blame Iran for the deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

A federal judge ordered four Iranians detained for questioning on Tuesday and named three others as suspects. No charges have been filed against any of the seven.In Iran, the Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Javad Qanbari, the Foreign Ministry's expert on Latin America, as saying Iran "considers the United States and Israel as major elements behind the recent baseless accusations."

Israel, he said, was working with the CIA in a smear campaign against Iran.

"The Israelis have misused the weakness of the Argentine government and without having any documented evidence in their possession repeatedly attributed the Buenos Aires bombing to Iran," Qanbari said, according to the IRNA dispatch, monitored in Nicosia.

The July 18 bombing leveled the seven-story community center, killing 95 people and wounding more than 200.

U.S. and Israeli officials have blamed the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group for the blast in Buenos Aires and other recent attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets.