May 22, 2013
AMIA: Timerman announces new negotiations with Iran scheduled for November
Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman announced at the Government House that new negotiations between diplomatic representatives of Argentina and Iran over the investigation into the 1994 AMIA terrorist attack, will take place before the end of Novemeber. The statements came after three days of meetings between authorities of both nations at the UN’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Being of a secretive nature, as both delegations have refused to comment on the issues or topics discussed, today’s meeting was scheduled with the intention of being the final session of dialogue but not the last, Timerman only said that the outcome was "positive", and added that the government's intentions are only those of bringing relief and justice to the victims of the attack that killed 85 people.
The Argentine delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Eduardo Zuaín, and Foreign Ministry councillor Susana Ruiz Cerruti.
Inside sources, cited by the Noticias Argentinas agency, asserted that “all the alternatives are on the table,” referring to the possibility of a trial being held in a neutral country as proposed by Argentina, or the intervention of both countries’ supreme courts to try the accused.
With no clear advancement, Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesperson for the Foreign Relations Ministry, stated: “We condemn terrorism and reject the accusations against our citizens,” speaking at a routine press conference.
Nevertheless, the Tehran representative affirmed that Iran is “willing to undertake a detailed revision process to help determine who the perpetrators were”, and added, “negotiations with Argentina are on due course and will continue until a clear conclusion is reached.”
The round of talks was highly criticized and questioned by the Israeli government and the Argentine Jewish community, who have expressed their lack of trust in Iran and condemned the approach made by the administration of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
The current AMIA president, Guillermo Borger, asserted that the opportunity for bilateral dialogue had “come and gone” when the “Iranian Foreign Ministry upheld that its citizens have no connection to the attack.”
The declared intention of the dialogue is also to establish a common legal framework for both countries, so as to potentially prosecute responsible Iranians, whom the Argentine judicial branch considers intellectual authors of the attack against the Argentine Jewish community.
Eight Iranians are accused by Argentina of organizing the bombing, including the current Iranian defence minister and other high-ranking officials.
In 2006, the Argentina ordered the international arrest of eight Iranians, including Ahmad Vahidi, the current Defence Minister; Moshen Rabbani, a former cultural attaché at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires; and Hadi Soleimanpour, the Iranian ambassador in 1994 and currently a deputy minister of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.