2 Iranians with forged Israeli passports arrested in Buenos Aires

2 Iranians with forged Israeli passports arrested in Buenos Aires

There were staying at hotel near Israeli Embassy

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Two Iranian men who entered Argentina with badly forged Israeli passports have been arrested and are being questioned by authorities.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Embassy in Argentina on Monday commemorated the 27th anniversary of the terrorist attack there that killed 29 people and destroyed the building. More than 400 people, along with students from local Jewish high schools, attended the memorial event.

“The sad thing is that 27 years after the attack we have suspicions that Iran is preparing another attack,” Israel’s ambassador to Argentina, Ilan Sztulman, said in an interview with Radio Mitre prior to the commemoration event. He praised the security forces that captured the Iranians.

Iran has been accused of being behind the embassy bombing, as well as the AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 and wounded 300. No arrests have been made in either case, however.

The state-run news agency Telam reported that the Iranian pair traveled from Iran to Turkey to Greece, where they were expelled as illegal foreigners. They moved on Spain and obtained the Israeli passports, and from Spain to Buenos Aires. They were able to enter Argentina despite a flag on the passports, but were arrested last week at a hotel near the Israeli Embassy — the third hotel in which they had stayed over 24 hours.

“We aren’t sure that they are terrorists,” Sztulman told reporters after the commemoration event in the square in which the former embassy was located. He noted that the Iranians “entered here just days before the commemoration event, and to be staying in a hotel near the embassy … there are too many coincidences.”