Argentina Orders Arrest Of Iranians For Bombing

A JUDGE has ordered the arrest of four Iranians in connection with last month's car-bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 95 people.

The four, whose whereabouts were unknown, were identified as employees of the Iranian Embassy. Charges against them were not known. Federal Judge Juan Jose Galeano on Tuesday also charged three Argentines with ``unlawfully'' replacing the engine of the van used in the bombing.

A shadowy group in Lebanon calling itself Ansarollah, or Partisans of God, claimed responsibility both for the July 18 attack on the headquarters of various Jewish organizations and for an explosion the next day of a Panamanian commuter plane. Argentine security sources have said the group is tied to Hizbullah.

Iran and Hizbullah, a Muslim extremist group based in Lebanon that opposes Middle East peace efforts, have denied involvement. But the foreign minister said Argentina would not break relations with Iran even if Tehran diplomats took part in the bombing. Venezuelan bank nationalized

UST when it appeared that Venezuela's banking crisis could not get much worse - after the government took over eight of the nation's banks as they verged on collapse in January and June - it did.

On Monday, the government nationalized the venerable Banco de Venezuela, whose troubles began in 1990. With seven more of the nation's 47 banks reported tottering, the situation appears increasingly grim.

The nation's high inflation rate combined with a recession in recent years set the climate for the crisis. But most damaging was the banks' tendency to take on debt exceeding their capital. In all, 16 of the most-troubled banks controlled 57 percent of all deposits in December 1993, before the crisis broke. Bailouts so far have cost the government more than $7 billion.

President Rafael Caldera Rodriguez inherited the banking crisis when he took office in February, a month after the takeover of one of the nation's top banks. To facilitate prosecution of bank officers accused of fraud and toseize assets, Mr. Caldera decreed a general suspension of civil liberties.

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