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February 8, 2018 10:12 am

Former Argentine Foreign Minister Accused of Iran Terror Cover-Up Granted Visa to Enter US

avatar by Ben Cohen

Former Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. Photo: Reuters / Marcos Brindicci.

Hector Timerman, the former Argentine foreign minister accused of colluding with the Iranian regime to exonerate Tehran of its responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, is to be allowed to travel to the US for medical treatment.

Timerman was among several senior Argentine officials — among them former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner — who were indicted on Dec. 7, 2017 by federal judge Claudio Bonadio to face possible treason charges over a 2013 pact with Iran that was later declared unconstitutional.

Bonadio’s investigation was based on the complaint against Kirchner and her associates assembled by former federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman — who spent a decade investigating the AMIA bombing before being found murdered in his Buenos Aires apartment in January 2015.

Rather than being detained in prison, Timerman, who is suffering from cancer, was placed under house arrest on humanitarian grounds. But when the former minister attempted to fly to New York on Jan. 10 to continue his medical treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, he was informed by ground staff at the airport that his US visa had been revoked because of his house arrest.

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On Wednesday, the Argentine Foreign Ministry said the US State Department had agreed to provide Timerman with a visa on humanitarian grounds. Timerman’s lawyer, Graciana Peñafort, told reporters that her client would now undergo “a surgical procedure to treat an acute pulmonary disease.”

Other key figures named in Bonadio’s indictment have been less fortunate. On Jan. 30, Argentina’s highest court of appeal rejected an appeal from Luis D’Elia, a key Kirchner lieutenant, to be released from preventative detention.

Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds more wounded on July 18, 1994, when a vehicle packed with explosives plowed into the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires. No one has been convicted for the atrocity, and it was not until after Nisman took over the investigation in 2005 that Interpol, the global law enforcement agency, issued warrants known as “Red Notices” for five Iranian and one Hezbollah operatives in connection with the bombing. Under the pact between Argentina and Iran secretly negotiated by Timerman, the “Red Notices” would have been lifted.

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