Jewish Parliamentarian in Argentina Accuses Iran of ‘Killing’ AMIA Bombing Investigator Alberto Nisman
A prominent Jewish member of Argentina’s parliament has accused Iran of being behind the death of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who died in mysterious circumstances last month after spending more than a decade investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered.
Sergio Bergman, widely believed to be the only rabbi serving in a national parliament outside of Israel, told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that he had “absolutely no doubt” that Iran “killed” Nisman.
“There is no doubt. You do not have to be crazy to suggest that Iran is involved in his death,” Bergman, who is currently visiting Israel, told correspondent Noga Tarnopolsky. “It’s not a delusion. To the contrary: Tehran has always been involved here, mixed up with the intelligence services, making agreements with the government, planting spies, in some ways invading us. Iran decides what it does here.”
A source close to Israel’s military intelligence told Tarnopolsky that there are “heavy suspicions” about Iran’s involvement, adding he had no doubt that the crime was carried out with “local participation.”
“If that were the case, the Argentine government, by suggesting the prosecutor ended his own life, would be persisting in the very behavior Nisman was investigating,” Tarnopolsky wrote. “Covering up the tracks of Iranian terror in Buenos Aires.”
Officially, Nisman’s death is being treated as a suicide. That claim has been treated with suspicion, given that Nisman died one day before he was due to appear before an congressional committee to charge senior Argentine leaders, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, of having fabricated the innocence of Iranian officials linked to the atrocity.
Two weeks after Nisman died, police found a draft of an arrest warrant for Fernández de Kirchner in his garbage.
The latest accusations come at a time of heightened concern over Iran’s support for terrorism in Latin America. On November 24 and January 8, fake bombs were discovered near the Israeli Embassy in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. Last week, an Iranian diplomat, identified as 32-year-old Ahmed Sabatgold, was expelled from Uruguay.
The same concerns about Iranian penetration of Argentina’s government and security circles exists in Uruguay. Writing in the Miami Herald, columnist Andres Oppenheimer observed that “Foreign Minister Luis Almagro, a leading candidate for secretary general of the 34-country Organization of American States, forged close ties with Iran during his years at the Uruguayan embassy in Teheran from 1991 to 1996, has been an unusually harsh critic of Israel, and is likely to have tried to tone down the incident with Iran.”
Interviewed by Oppenheimer, Almagro said that he may have over-reacted when he summoned the Iranian ambassador to his office on Dec. 10, because there are only “strange coincidences” which could lead to speculation of an Iranian connection.
“Despite the lack of any evidence pointing at Iran, I didn’t like the coincidence that somebody from the Iranian embassy was milling around the Israeli embassy when that briefcase was found,” Almagro told Oppenheimer.