Argentinians split over Iran deal to bring terrorists to justice

By Daniel Easterman, November 14, 2013
President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez (Photo: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina)

President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez (Photo: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina)

Argentina's Attorney General has attacked a deal between Argentina and Iran to investigate the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires which cost the lives of 85 people and left 300 seriously injured.

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez, who has good relations with Iran, pushed through an agreement in Argentina’s Congress earlier this year to set up a "truth commission" between the two countries.

However, to date no members of the commission have been named and no Argentinian investigators have flown to Iran to interview suspects as the agreement requires.
Attorney General, Alberto Nisman said he had serious concerns over the agreement had been forced through by President Fernandez, calling it “undue interference” by the executive branch and an unconstitutional invasion into the “exclusive sphere of the judiciary”.

The Jewish community in Argentina – the largest in South America numbering 300,000 people - has also expressed outrage over the joint Argetinian-Iranian commission, saying that it represents a triumph for the Islamic Republic while offering no justice for Argentina or the 85 victims.

Several Interpol arrest warrants and extradition requests have already been issued for high-ranking Iranian figures including the former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. But little co-operation from Teheran has been forthcoming.

The 1994 community centre bombing was not the first major attack against a Jewish target in Argentina. Two years earlier the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was also bombed, with 29 people killed. Hezbollah claimed responsibility at the time while the Iranian government denied any involvement.

The controversy in Argentina over ties to Iran comes as a new poll was published in Israel showing that 55 per cent of Israelis have no faith in America’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with Teheran.

Last updated: 12:57pm, November 14 2013