BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – The special prosecutor in the deadly 1994 AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) Jewish community centre bombing is suing Argentina’s president and the government, alleging a cover-up of Iran’s role.
Alberto Nisman, who is heading the investigation, in the 300-page federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, claimed that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up for former Iranian officials accused of being involved in the attack. Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish, also was named in the suit, which seeks a freeze on Kirchner’s assets.
The suit claimed that Kirchner decided to “not incriminate” former senior officials of the Islamic Republic and tried to “erase” their roles in planning the bombing.
Interpol has issued arrest warrants for six Iranians in connection with the bombing, including the defense minister at the time of the attack.
The lawsuit accused the government of establishing a “parallel communication channel” with Iran in order to “transmit and implement the orders ruled by the president (Kirchner) and, in that way, reach the illicit objectives,” including establishing trade relations.
“This clandestine channel that operated as a parallel diplomacy was shaped by officials, ex-officials and other subjects that had no ties with the diplomatic function, but who were closely tied with the center of power from where the most transcendental decisions of Argentine politics emanated,” it said.
The suit also named other government figures and leftist political leaders Luis D’Elia and Fernando Esteche, who was sentenced to prison recently for threatening a Jewish rally.
According to the suit, Kirchner decided to bring Argentina closer to Iran, “establishing trade relations to mitigate Argentina’s severe energy crisis through an exchange of oil for grain.”
The agreement, the suit said, was considered “unfeasible” as long as the accusations against Iranian officials remained. To clear the obstacle, Kirchner “ordered a diverting of the investigation, abandoning years of a legitimate demand of justice, and sought to free the Iranians accused in the case from all suspicions, contradicting their proven ties with the attack. She decided to fabricate the innocence of Iran.”
In November 2013, Nisman asked a federal judge to declare unconstitutional his country’s memorandum of understanding with Iran to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing. That same year, in July, he told Jewish leaders from Latin America that Iran had infiltrated several South American countries through the installation of intelligence cells.