After Meeting, Jewish Group Says New Argentinian Government Committed to Holding Iranians Accountable for AMIA Bombing
Senior officials from a leading international Jewish human rights NGO said on Thursday that the new Argentinian government is committed to acheiving justice for the victims of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish institution in the country’s capital, believed to have been perpetrated by Iran.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), and Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC’s director of international relations, along with a delegation of Latin American SWC officials, met with the newly-elected Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, at the country’s Presidential Palace on Wednesday. Argentina’s minister of security, secretary for human rights, cabinet chief and secretary general were also present at the meeting.
According to the SWC, one of the first issues raised at the meeting concerned new developments regarding the unresolved AMIA Jewish Center bombing that left 85 dead and over 300 injured. The bombing has been called the worst terror attack in Argentina’s history.
“We left the president and his team convinced there is a need for a renewed commitment to justice in this case by the Macri administration,” Cooper and Samuels said in a joint statement. “President Macri is fully committed to hold accountable for this terrorist outrage the six Iranian officials named by Interpol. Argentina is urging Colombia to deny entry to one of the six, Mohsen Rabbani, who is reportedly heading an Iranian delegation to Colombia.”
Samuels added, “Yesterday we had a fruitful exchange with the Argentine Justice Ministry’s newly-formed AMIA Investigation Unit. We assured them that the SWC will seek global support for their renewed efforts.”
The bombing made headlines again last year when the special prosecutor investigating the attack, Alberto Nisman, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his home shortly before he was set to appear before a congressional committee to present newly discovered evidence implicating then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman in covering up Iran’s involvement in the bombing.
With Macri’s election, members of Argentina’s Jewish community have expressed hope that a closer look at Nisman’s death — which many observers believe was murder — will reopen an investigation into the AMIA bombing and Iran’s connection to it. Macri already appeared to be taking steps towards investigating Iran’s connection when, upon his election in December, the president dropped a memorandum of understanding passed by the Kirchner government with Iran.