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Jewish Group Protests Argentina-Iran 'Whitewash Agreement'

Jewish group protests Argentinian prosecutor general’s decision to block key testimony on the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Center bombing.
By Rina Tzvi
First Publish: 7/7/2013, 9:06 AM

Hassan Rowhani
Hassan Rowhani
AFP photo


The Simon Wiesenthal Center is protesting a decision by the Argentinian prosecutor general to block the chief investigator who led the probe into the bombing of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Center from testifying at a  hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. The hearing is scheduled to take place July 9, and is entitled “Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere”, reflecting American concerns over the Islamic Republic's role in international terrorism, among other things.

Argentine Prosecutor General Alejandra Gils Carbó’s reportedly argued that the hearing is not “an institutional activity'” of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, the Chief Investigator into the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Center bombing. Subsequently, no funds will be made available to Nisman’s office for that purpose.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Wiesenthal Center, stated, “The Argentine decision is in line with the Argentine-Iran whitewash agreement. Nisman’s ongoing findings relating to the murder of 85 and maiming of over 300 in Buenos Aires, are crucial for the U.S. inquiry into Tehran’s influence in the Western Hemisphere.”

“Even more so since his recent indictment, which provides judicial evidence of Iranian and Hezbollah cells in nine South American countries and this network's links in the U.S.,” added Samuels.

Recently, Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani - trumpeted in some corners as a relative "moderate" - was found to have been on the special Iranian government committee that plotted the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, according to an indictment by the Argentine government prosecutor investigating the case.

The AMIA bombing is considered the deadliest terror attack in Argentina’s history, killing 85 and wounding hundreds more.

According to a report by Free Beacon, Former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi, who defected from Iran in the late 1990s, testified that the decision to launch the attack was made at the very highest levels in Tehran. Mesbahi claimed that the attack was commissioned by a special operations committee connected to the powerful Supreme National Security Council, in August 1993.

According to the 2006 indictment, Mesbahi testified that Rowhani, who was then serving as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, was also a member of the special committee when it approved the AMIA bombing.

“Terrorism is a global threat; therefore, international cooperation and partnership is essential in order to confront it and prevent it. We regret that Argentina has determined to miss the opportunity to contribute its experience and expertise as a victim of Iranian terrorism," stressed Sergio Widder, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for Latin America.