US Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Monday called on
the President of Argentina to review its decision to establish a joint "Truth
Commission" with Iran to "re-investigate" the 1994 bombing of the Argentine
Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires.
In a letter to President Cristina Fernandez de
Kirchner, the Senators claimed that overturning a legal process and indictment
"dishonors the Argentine victims of the [Iranian] terrorist regime."
sends "exactly the wrong signal to Tehran’s leaders about responsibility for
their actions," the Senators wrote, adding that they fear this "downgrading to a
“commission” will lead to the dismissal of charges and the whitewashing of this
The US Senators warned that the "Truth Commission" may set a precedent for allowing the Iranian regime to evade responsibility for its crimes, warning that such a probe might even "encourage another devastating attack."
The bombing of the AMIA, which killed 85 people and injured
approximately 300, was the largest attack on a Jewish target since World War II. Iran, which remains locked in a stand-off with world powers over its disputed nuclear program, denies links to the attack.
In 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five
Iranians and a Lebanese over the attack in which an explosives-laden truck
detonated outside the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA)
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the Iranian
officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America's largest Jewish
Western and Israeli sources have voiced concerns that
Argentina may have lost its interest in pursuing investigations of the 1994
attack, as well as the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that
killed 29 people two years earlier.
The Islamic Jihad Organization,
believed to be linked to Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, claimed
responsibility for the 1992 bombing.
Argentine, Israeli and US
officials have long blamed the AMIA attack on Hezbollah guerrillas backed by
Reuters contributed to this report.