PM welcomes Argentina's 'change of direction'

New Argentinian gov't's decision not to abide by deal with Iran may improve Israel's relations with all of South America, PM says.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 13:02

Netanyahu addresses Masa Israel participants
Netanyahu addresses Masa Israel participants
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed at his weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday Argentina's decision not to appeal a court's ruling to strike down a deal with Iran over investigating the 1994 deadly bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. 

"This is a welcome change of direction and I hope we will see a significant improvement of Argentina-Israeli relations as well as a change for the better in relations with other countries in South America in the coming years," Netanyahu said. 

The memorandum of understanding would have created a joint "truth commission" made up of five independent judges from third-party countries to investigate the bombing. It would also have allowed for Iranian suspects in the case to be questioned. 

Argentine laws forbid trying suspects in absentia and the country's former president always maintained that, given these limitations, the memorandum was the only way to confirm whether Iran's government was behind the attack, as Argentine prosecutors have alleged. 

Leaders of Argentina's Jewish community, which at 300,000 people is the largest in Latin America, have criticized the accord. The American Jewish Committee, noted AP, compared it to "asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht." 

During the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu also addressed the completion of a final draft in the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris' formulation of a historic climate change deal. 

"The agreement signed last night is important," he stressed. "We have an interest, as do other countries, in ensuring that if global warming is not stopped, it will at least be slowed - and Israel will do its part."

"Israel is a leader in wastewater purification technologies, recycling, water desalination and we have, as you already know, a national plan for alternatives to oil, a plan for alternatives to oil in transportation, and it is a global pioneer on this issue."

The Prime Minister also noted his efforts to free recently released prisoner Ouda Tarabin, who, Netanyahu says, he repeatedly expressed to three successive Egyptian presidents was not a spy. 

"I'm glad Ouda has returned to us," he said. "The State of Israel takes care of all its citizens, without exception."