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A Buenos Aires court on Friday declared former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight others fugitives from justice in Argentina, where they are wanted in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center.

Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral said the nine must be considered fugitives for failing to respond to arrest warrants he issued earlier this month, when he said he had "serious" evidence of the suspects' involvement in the attack.

Some 85 people were killed and more than 200 were injured 12 years ago when a bomb exploded in a van outside the seven-story AMIA center in the Argentine capital.

Iran has denied any involvement in the bombing. The other eight named in the warrants include a former Iranian government and military officials and an ex-security chief for Hezbollah.