While you still occasionally read "news" reports claiming conclusively that Iran was behind the bombing of the Jewish centers in Argentina, no one bothers asking if there was sufficient evidence of that, then why did the UK courts release the former Iranian ambassador who was allegedly involved in it? More here and here
I got the text of the court decision below, which was a precursor to the eventual release of Iran's former ambassador to Argentina which occurred after Argentina was unable to provide sufficient evidence to support an extradition warrant against him. It makes for interesting reading.
Hadi Soleimanpour v Crown Prosecution Service
High Court of Justice Queen's Bench Division
12 September 2003
Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 2325 (QB)
2003 WL 22936578
Before: Mr Justice Royce
Friday, 12th September 2003
MR JUSTICE ROYCE:
1. On 18th July 1994, there was an appalling car bomb attack on the Jewish Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina; 85 people were killed. It is clear that the process of investigation to establish who was responsible for that attack has been very protracted and difficult. The investigating judge in Argentina is Judge Galliano. Before me there is a report from him dated 5th March 2003, running to some 391 pages (“the first report”). There is also a second report of 13th August 2003, running to 26 pages.
2. The first report records that by 26th February 2001 five persons have been charged and are on remand as participants in the attack. A further 15 persons, according to that report, are subject to proceedings, although it has not been possible to establish their participation in the central offence.
3. In Judge Galliano's first report, there is reference to numerous individuals, including this applicant, Mr Hadi Soleimanpour. He was the Iranian Ambassador in Argentina from 19th June 1991 to 16th August 1994. The applicant is 47; he is married; he has two children. He has been a member of the diplomatic service in Iran since 1983, and he first served as a chargé d'affaires, and then as ambassador for Spain between 1985 and 1988. Between 1988 and 1990 he worked in Tehran, and, as I have indicated, then became ambassador to Argentina. He was, in fact, not in Argentina between 30th June 1994 and 25th July 1994 and, accordingly, was not present when this car bomb attack took place.
4. He returned to Argentina to condemn the bombing on Argentine television on 26th July 1994, but he was withdrawn by his government after the Argentine government withdrew its own diplomatic representative in Iran later in 1994.
5. From 1996 to 1999 he was deputy ambassador to the office of the United Nations in Geneva, where he assisted the United Nations High Commissioner of refugees and the international Red Cross in the repatriation of over 20,000 Iranian and Iraqi prisoners of war. From 1999 to 2001 worked on humanitarian and environmental issues in his service in Tehran. He was involved in travelling to a large number of western countries, including the United States of America, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Australia since 1994 (countries from which extradition to Argentina was available).
6. In September 2001 he accepted an offer from Durham University, which has strong links with academics in Iran, to study for a PhD on nature-based tourism, as described in a letter before me.
7. At the present time he has about six months in which to present corrections to his PhD work, which he has substantially completed. He was hoping to spend another year in Durham. He lives with his wife and children. His wife is a biologist who is, herself, engaged in a post-doctoral project in Durham.
8. It is clear that he has known of this investigation for some time. It is apparent that earlier this year, after publication of the first report, he was approached by police officers who drew his attention to it. Thus, it is obvious that he has known that he is a subject of investigation by Judge Galliano.
9. Subsequent to that he returned to Iran on holiday, but thereafter came back to this country, travelling on a non-diplomatic passport to resume his studies.
10. The first report makes reference, as I have indicated, to many individuals, including Mr Soleimanpour. Between pages 126 and 129, there is set out a summary of this applicant's movements. The report does not point, in my judgment, to any clear evidence demonstrating his involvement in this attack.
11. The second report does not purport to include additional evidence against him. The resolution at the end of the report is as follows:
“To issue national and international orders for the capture of Hadi Soleimanpour [and there are various other individuals also referred to] and this personal data includes the case document of these orders processed through Interpol, stating that once they have been captured they must be made available to the court as prisoners and held incommunicado so that investigatory statements will be taken from them”.
The point is made, and I must address this, on behalf of the applicant, that the current intention appears to be to ensure that he is extradited for interrogation, as opposed to standing his trial.
12. There has been put before me this morning a further document coming from Mr Fererra, a federal court clerk. In that document it is contended that the investigation that has been carried out proved Mr Soleimanpour provided support cover needed for those to perpetrate the terrorist attack. It alleged that the core of the activity was the Iran Embassy. It then includes a rather curious phrase:
“However, it cannot be conclusively asserted that such activities have been actually carried out without his consent”.
13. As Mr Jones points out it appears that it would be for the applicant to prove conclusively that he did not, in fact, know what was going on. It is, of course, too early to make a full determination as to the adequacy of the evidence because, under the terms of the Treaty between this country and Argentina, and by virtue of the arrangements set out in the schedule to the Extradition Act 1989, the requisition issuing state, namely Argentina, requires time to produce evidence in this country that will be presented to the magistrates' court, if it is decided to press on with the extradition process. The Treaty stipulates in Article 10 that a requisition must be received within 30 days of arrest; Article 14 provides that the requesting state is allowed two months from the date of arrest for the production of “sufficient evidence”, and that period may be extended.
14. It is apparent from the reports, to which I have made reference, that nine years of detailed investigation have produced what is summarised in those reports. It is not, in reality, suggested that there is significant additional material that is not adverted to in those reports.
15. I have to bear in mind the strength of the case as I have seen it against this applicant. It is, of course, only one consideration. I have to bear in mind the fact that, on any view, this was an appalling attack. These were murders of the utmost cruelty.
16. However, when I look at the history of this matter; when I bear in mind the fact that the applicant has known for some time about these investigations; when I take into account that he currently has a settled existence in Durham; when I also take into account the fact that the Iranian government has put forward an offer of £½ million security, and has publicly associated itself with his promise to follow his obligations in the English courts; and, when I also take into account the fact that he clearly could have departed these shores to avoid the situation, I have come to the conclusion, in all the circumstances at this time, he should be granted bail. He has never disputed that conditions would have to be attached to that bail.
17. The fact of the matter is that his passport is already in the hands of the police and they may retain it; there will have to be the security of £½ million from the Iranian government through its ambassador, Harrison Foggin; there will have to be a further security of the sum of £200,000 which the applicant's parents have transferred from Iran as security, the applicant and his wife have indicated that they are prepared to transfer savings they have set aside for the children's education, that is the sum of US $40,000, currently in Switzerland, but that would need to be transferred to this country. I would also need a surety in the sum of £5,000 from Mrs Fulton. There will also be a condition of bail for him to report to his local police station, and I am prepared to listen to any other representations in the terms or conditions from Mr Hinds.
18. I should also say this: the magistrate had the same concerns as expressed by the prosecution as to the applicant's safety (that aspect was not advanced by Mr Hinds at the forefront of his objection to bail, but he did make late reference to it). The fact of the matter is that in the early part of this year, after the publication of the report from Argentina, the applicant's whereabouts in Durham were made public, and Mr Jones has contended that concerns about the applicant's safety are more theoretical than real. I am bound to say I have had some concerns about that aspect of the matter, but, having listened to the representations, it does not seem to me, in the circumstances, to be right to refuse bail on that ground.