Netanyahu Welcomes New Argentinean Govt’s Reopening of Buenos Aires Jewish Center Bombing Case
In his weekly Sunday-morning cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed satisfaction with the decision of the new Argentinean government to conduct an independent investigation into Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Israeli news website nrg reported.
Netanyahu praised President Mauricio Macri’s decision to cancel the agreement his predecessor, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, reached three years ago with Tehran, calling it a “welcome change of direction.”
According to the pact, signed in January 2013 between former Argentinean Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, the two countries would create a joint commission to solve the case of the terrorist attack on the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) building in the capital city, which killed 85 Jews and wounded another 330.
An Argentinean court last year ruled the pact unconstitutional — mainly because of prosecutors’ suspicions that Iran had been behind the bombing — a ruling the previous government was in the process of appealing. Macri’s decision was two-fold: to let the court’s ruling stand and to begin a new investigation into the attack.
An Israeli diplomat well-versed in Israel-Argentina relations told nrg that relations between the countries are expected to greatly improve following Macri’s electoral victory in November.
Macri’s rise to power was a source of relief to Israel, said nrg, not only because he is more pro-Israel than his predecessor, but because it signals the weakening of Iranian influence in Argentina particularly, and in Latin America in general.