Amia Bombing: Argentina and Iran Agree Truth Commission
Argentina and Iran are to jointly set up a commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of the Israeli-Argentine Mutual Association (Amia) Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires.
The commission will be made up of five independent judges, none of whom will be from either Argentina or Iran.
Argentine courts have blamed Iran for the attack, which killed 85 people. Iran has always denied any involvement.
Israel’s foreign ministry said it was “surprised” by news of the commission.
Spokesman Yigal Palmor told the AFP news agency that it was waiting “to receive full details” from Argentina.
Amia and another key Argentina Jewish organisation were meanwhile reported to be vehemently opposed to the move.
Iran agreed last July to co-operate with Argentina in the investigation, which it said “was going down the wrong way”.
Such negotiations have alarmed Israel’s government and Argentina’s sizeable Jewish community, who fear Argentina is weakening in its resolve to put suspects on trial.
“We warned the Argentines from the start that the Iranians would try to set a trap for them and that they should beware,” Mr Palmor was quoted by AFP as saying on Monday.
The news agency also quoted a joint statement by Amia and the Delegation of Israelite Argentine Associations as saying that the new move would “imply a decline in our sovereignty”.
“To ignore everything that Argentine justice has done and to replace it with a commission that, in the best of cases, will issue, without any defined deadline, a ‘recommendation’ to the parties constitutes, without doubt, a reversal in the common objective of obtaining justice,” the statement said.
However, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called the agreement “historic”.
“It guarantees the right to due process of law, a fundamental principle of international criminal law,” Ms Fernandez said.
She said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and his Iranian counterpart had signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia.
It still has to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries.
The commission would “analyse all the documentation presented to date by the judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran”, Ms Fernandez wrote on her Twitter account.
According to Mr Timerman, the agreement will make it possible for Argentine legal officials to question Iranian suspects in Tehran.
Among the suspects named by Argentine prosecutors when they made their case in 2007 is Iran’s current Defence Minister, Gen Ahmed Vahidi.
At the time of the attack, Gen Vahidi was the commander of a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Argentine prosecutors said Iran planned and financed the attack, and that the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah carried it out.
No-one has been convicted of the car bombing which destroyed the seven-storey cultural centre.
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN:
- Colombia’s First Leftist President Will Bring Historic Change, if the US Lets Him
- Latin America’s Second Wave of Left-Wing Governments Could Be More Powerful than the First
- How Cuba Is Eradicating Child Mortality and Banishing the Diseases of the Poor
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA:
- Yemen: The Largest Humanitarian Crisis That No One Discusses
- How the Western Leaders Destroyed the Muslim World: We, the People, and Revival of Colonization
- Iran Welcomes Signs of Reconciliation from Saudi Arabia
PALESTINE - ISRAEL:
- Gaza Death Toll Climbs to 43 amid Ceasefire Reports
- The Shameful UN ‘List of Shame’: Equating the Israeli Perpetrator and the Palestinian Victim
- 15 Years of Failed Experiments: Myths and Facts about the Israeli Siege on Gaza