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September 25, 2015 3:24 pm

Just One of Argentina’s Presidential Candidates Ready to Level Charges Against Iran Over 1994 AMIA Bombing

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

The 1994 AMIA bombing is Argentina's worst terrorist attack. Photo: Wikipedia.

The 1994 AMIA bombing is Argentina’s worst terrorist attack. Photo: Wikipedia.

About a month before Argentina’s heated presidential election, only one candidate has declared she would take Iran to task over the unresolved 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish community center bombing that left 85 dead and scores injured.

Attorney and politician Margarita Stolbizer told the Simon Wiesenthal Center that she would refer the unresolved issue of the AMIA bombing — the largest suicide attack in the country’s history — to the U.N. Security Council, presenting it as an act of Iranian aggression, a charge also alleged by the late attorney Alberto Nisman, whose mysterious death occurred earlier this year hours before he was set to testify against Argentinian President Cristina Ferandez de Kirchner.

But Stolbizer is a presidential long shot, and none of the other candidate took a hard stance against Iran or the top Iranian officials that are actually on INTERPOL’s red notice list over the devastating 1994 bombing in Argentina’s capital city, such as former Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.

Former and short-lived Argentine president Adolfo Rodriguez Saa suggested a multilateral approach involving Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela, which also has close ties with Iran. Front runner and Kirchner administration official Daniel Scioli, for his part, took the safest route and shelved the vexed AMIA bombing until after elections.

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Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, who is trailing behind Scioli in a poll released on Friday, as well as third place candidate and former Kirchner associate Sergio Massa, agreed the judiciary should settle the issue, without political intervention. This, after Kirchner’s government announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran in 2013 to establish a so-called “truth commission” to exhaust the AMIA investigation, inflaming the Argentine and U.S. Jewish communities and raising eyebrows among top U.S. diplomats in South America.

The Wiesenthal Center also asked candidates about other issues important to the Argentine Jewish community, the largest in Latin America and the seventh-largest in the world. Among those issues were the UNESCO World Heritage status for the hamlet of Moises Ville, the first Jewish settlement in Argentina, and containing what the Center said was burgeoning antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

All the candidates said they were committed to the Center’s objective of getting Moises Ville in Santa Fe province, whose inhabitants number just a couple of thousand, UNESCO World Heritage status.
And each candidate denounced antisemitism, and Scioli and Stolbizer said they would require Holocaust education in schools, though this is a commitment Argentina had previously made.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, said, “We hope to discuss these questions further with the President-Elect in late October, and especially the skeleton in the cupboard – increasing Iranian penetration and sponsorship of Hezbollah sleepers and Jihadist recruitment across the region – a subject raised by the AMIA bombing late Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman.”

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