May 18, 2013
AMIA seen through Iranian eyes
By Robert Cox
From Where I Stand
CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Argentina and Iran to investigate the 1994 terrorist bombing of AMIA, the Jewish social centre in Buenos Aires, that claimed 85 lives and injured more than 300 people, has yet to go to the Senate for ratification, but it is already fouling the air with the fetid stench of anti-Semitism. The complications and contradictions in this case promises even more polarizing consequences for Argentina’s vulnerable democracy.
The Internet is once again festering with hatred as far-right organizations repeat the blood libel that the bombing of the building in Once where 85 people lost their lives and more than 300 were injured was an ‘inside job‘ by Israeli secret agents. The attack, which followed a suicide car-bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires two years earlier in which 29 people died and 250 more were injured, deeply wounded the psyche of an Argentina already scarred by the terrorism of the 1970s insurgency and the atrocities of the1976-84 dictatorship.
The MOU is really a MOM — a Memorandum of Misunderstanding. That is best appreciated by viewing through Iranian eyes the agreement that Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman signed with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on January 27 through Iranian eyes.
PressTV, the Iranian television network, reported on the MOU in this dispatch from Buenos Aires. It is noteworthy that Luis D’Elía, who came to prominence as a picket leader and was rewarded with a post in the Kirchner administration, is featured in a lengthy interview during which he charges the Israeli intelligence service Mossad and the CIA with involvement in the AMIA attack and interference in its aftermath. He says that the Jewish Community leaders “are not interested in memory, truth and justice” and says that to support Israel, they want to stop the agreement taking effect. See:
D’Elía is no longer a deputy secretary for land and social habitat. According to Clarín he was fired for becoming too close to Iran. He is now Tehran’s “poster boy.”
In my last column I provided a link to the Tehran Times editorial that laid out the position of the Iranian government on the agreement to form a “Truth Commission” formed by five independent jurists who would judge the merits of the Argentina case, which would be outlined by the current prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, along with Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Co-rral. Under Argentine law, the judge would have to order the immediate detention and imprisonment of the six suspects on the Interpol arrest. A fellow journalist and friend who has been close to the investigation believes that the President is convinced that the mastermind behind the attack was the Syrian regime, as she said during the AMIA oral trial in 2004. (Nisman, by the way, is a “wanted man‘”as far as the Iranian authorities are concerned. He has also denounced recent threats to himself and his family.
This is the message that K sent to Congress http://www.agenciacna.com/2/nota_1.php?noticia_id=46931
That link to the Tehran Times and other links were omitted from the version of last week’s column that could be accessed on line. I am repeating them because I believe that they help to explain why, after 19 years of investigation, the AMIA (and the Israeli Embassy) bombings remain unsolved and the suspects, alive or dead, have enjoyed impunity all these years.
In announcing the memorandum of agreement President Kirchner said that the investigation had been a farce. If it was a farce, a statement that is a grievous insult to Argentina’s judiciary, the farce is now becoming a travesty.
The Iranian press, even when the claim of independence is made, hews strictly the official line. There is a tone of triumph in reports and comments about the agreement. The Iran of the Ayatollahs has NO DOUBT that the “Truth Commission” will vindicate Iran and incriminate Israel and the Jewish Community, victims who, in Iranian eyes, deserve to be victimized. To choose just one example of the kind of things that the Iranian press is saying, visit http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-Argentina-Agreement-on-AMIA.htm
The tone of this is captured in this extract:
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is totally and completely sure that accusations against it in (the) AMIA case have been cooked up by Israel and this has been (the) unwavering conviction of the Islamic establishment about this issue throughout the past years.”
I think that Timerman has walked the President into a trap. Knowingly, or unknowingly, this embrace of a religiously fanatical, misogynist, anti-West regime that routinely violates the human rights of its citizens, that appears intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and is credibly suspected of sponsoring international terrorism has set alarm bells ringing throughout the world.
Unfortunately the bells are not ringing loud enough for the President, her foreign minister, members of her party and Congress men and women who will vote yea or nay on the ratification of the agreement to hear .
Internationally, it seems, Argentina is not taken seriously. A foreign correspondent recently put it this way, “Argentina is Alice in Wonderland.” But this is a deal with the devil and there is no devil in Wonderland.