Iran,  Latin America

The Argentine-Iranian “truth commission” farce

The Argentine-Iranian “truth commission”— formed last month to investigate the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 86 people– is becoming increasingly farcical.

In 2006 Argentine prosecutors accused the Iranian authorities of directing Hezbollah to carry out the attack on the center. They called for the arrest of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and six others.

After the signing of the agreement with Iran, Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner responded to the objections of AMIA president Guillermo Borger, who said it could lead to another attack on the AMIA.

In a series of ten messages on her Twitter account, president Fernández went on to question Borger’s claims and asked: “If a terrorist attack did occur because of Argentina’s agreement with Iran, who would be the intellectual and physical mastermind?”

She added: “It’s clear that it could never be the signatory countries. Could it be those who have rejected the agreement? Countries, people, or intelligence services? Who?”

As I understand it, the president actually believes that Iran’s signature on an agreement with Argentina has rendered Iranian involvement in a future attack impossible. And she hints that a future attack could only be carried out by entities which oppose the agreement.

If that’s not bad enough, the World Jewish Congress reported last week:

Iran denied on Tuesday that Iranians facing international arrest warrants for their alleged roles in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center would be questioned by an Argentinian judge, as announced by Argentine’s foreign minister. “The matter of questioning of some of the Iranian officials is a sheer lie. It seems that those who are concerned by the actual agreement are spreading such reports,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference.

Mehmanparast’s remarks came after Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said that seven Iranians with international arrest warrants against them will be questioned by an Argentine judge in Tehran concerning the bombing. Timerman had stressed that he had “made sure [Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi] will have to be present when the judge questioned them and he will be.”

In other words, to the shock (I hope) of no one, Iran has played the Argentine government for fools and transformed the “truth commission” from highly dubious to utterly meaningless.

Will Fernández de Kirchner now have the decency to tear it up?

(Hat tip: DocMartyn)

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