Appeal over Argentina-Iran deal

By Adam Feinstein, March 7, 2013

Argentina’s main Jewish organisations have announced that they are launching a legal appeal in the Supreme Court against the government’s controversial “memorandum of understanding” with Iran aimed at investigating the 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.

The Buenos Aires-Tehran agreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on January 27 and ratified by the Argentinian Parliament by 131 votes to 113 on February 28.

The Argentinian authorities have accused eight Iranians of responsibility for the Amia bombing — including the current Defence Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, and the former president, Ali Rafsanjani — and have demanded their extradition. However, the Argentinian Foreign Minister, Héctor Timerman, has stated that the new agreement will allow the Argentinian authorities to interrogate only the Iranians for whom Interpol has issued an arrest warrant and not the other three accused — who include Mr Rafsanjani and the former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati.

Meanwhile, Ha’aretz has claimed that Mr Timerman, who is Jewish, warned the Israeli Ambassador to Argentina, Dora Shavit, that Israel had no right to criticise the agreement with Tehran: “We are a sovereign state. Israel does not speak in the name of the Jewish people and does not represent them,” Mr Timerman was reported to have told Ms Shavit.

Last updated: 5:45pm, March 7 2013