Iranian Offer to Interpol of ‘Cooperation’ in AMIA Bombing Investigation Just Another Maneuver, Expert Says
Official Iranian news outlets reported on Wednesday that the Tehran regime has agreed to work with Interpol, the global law enforcement agency, to “resolve” the “dispute” arising from the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered and hundreds more wounded.
But one expert urged the international community not to “fall for Iran’s latest maneuver,” nearly 25 years after the AMIA bombing was first planned during a meeting at the home of Iran’s then president, the late Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
A report from ISNA – one of the regime’s several news agencies – said that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, met with Interpol’s Director-General Jurgen Stock in Tehran on Tuesday where they discussed the AMIA case. Stock was visiting the Iranian capital for a meeting of Project Kalkan, an Interpol initiative focused on counter-terrorism and narcotics smuggling in several countries in central Asia.
Araghchi stated Iran’s “readiness to cooperate with Interpol and Argentina for the proper settlement of the case, ‘AMIA,'” the ISNA report said.
But Araghchi also made clear to Stock his government’s displeasure with Interpol’s handling of the case, complaining about the outstanding “red notices” – effectively international arrest warrants – issued in 2007 for six Iranian officials in connection with the bombing. One of those named at the time was the Hezbollah terrorist leader Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, who also planned the 1983 bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut, in which more than 200 American military personnel lost their lives. Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing incident in Damascus in 2008.
Araghchi also told Stock that the AMIA case had not been resolved because of the influence of “overt” and “covert” outside “vested interests” – a veiled reference to the State of Israel and international Jewish groups.
Araghchi’s offer of “cooperation” was greeted with skepticism by a former American colleague of Alberto Nisman – the Argentine prosecutor who was found dead in January 2015 hours before he was due to expose the collusion between the Iranian regime and the previous Argentine government in frustrating the AMIA investigation, and whose death was deemed a murder by an official Argentine report published in May.
“For years Iran has sought to absolve itself of responsibility in the AMIA bombing,” Toby Dershowitz – Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Strategy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think-tank in Washington, DC – told The Algemeiner. “This new scheme is another such attempt and is akin to having the fox guard the hen house.”
Dershowitz said that “the civilized world should not fall for Iran’s latest maneuver.”
“On the contrary, some of the very Iranian officials implicated in the AMIA bombing continue to engage in malign activities,” she pointed out.