antisemitism,  Iran,  Latin America,  Terrorism

Argentine prosecutor accuses President Kirchner of coverup in AMIA bombing probe

Perhaps– just perhaps– a tide is starting to turn.

In 2013 we reported on the “truth commission” agreed to by the governments of Argentina and Iran to investigate the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires which killed 86 people.

This was a stunning step backwards from Argentina’s position in 2006, when 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.

The World Jewish Congress reported:

Iran denied… 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.”

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner then posted a bizarre series of tweets suggesting that Iran’s signature on an agreement with Argentina had rendered Iranian involvement in a future attack impossible, and that a future attack could only be carried out by entities which opposed the agreement.

Having thus been reduced to an utter farce, the “truth commission” (if it ever actually met) was no longer a matter to which I paid much attention.

Now it appears that the Argentine prosecutor investigating the AMIA bombing has had enough.

Alberto Nisman filed a 300-page complaint naming President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and others of seeking to “erase” Iran’s role in the bombing at the AMIA community center offices in which 85 people were killed. He said he wants to question the president and other officials who he claims are involved in the cover-up.

Nisman claims that the president decided to “not incriminate” former senior Iranian officials for their roles in planning the bombing, and instead has sought a rapprochement with Tehran, “establishing trade relations to mitigate Argentina’s severe energy crisis,” the Buenos Aires Herald reported.

When her agreement with Iran was challenged in the Argentinean courts, “and here is the criminal (aspect), the president ordered to divert the investigation, abandoning years of a legitimate demand of justice, and sought to free the Iranians imputed (in the case) from all suspicions, contradicting their proven ties with the attack. She decided to fabricate ‘the innocence of Iran’,” the newspaper quoted Nisman as alleging.

Well done, Mr. Nisman.

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