Argentina FM vows justice for Buenos Aires bomb

But in speech to Jewish group, Timerman fails to mention alleged Iran complicity in attacks.

November 15, 2011 13:52
2 minute read.
Dignitaries at the Buenos Aires memorial [file]

Buenos Aires memorial 311. (photo credit: Gil Shefler)

BUENOS AIRES – Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman vowed on Tuesday to bring the perpetrators of the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings of Israeli and Jewish institutions to justice, though he did not mention Iran’s alleged role in the attacks.

Speaking at the Alvear Hotel, where the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors had assembled, the politician said the government would continue to raise the issue of the terrorist attacks at international events.

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“You should know that [Argentinean President Christina] Kirchner will continue to demand, as she has done in every international forum, that this case should be brought to justice,” he said. “Let me repeat: We will not stop until we bring them to justice.”

Yet the absence of any reference to the Islamic Republic – whose intelligence services Argentina has formally accused of carrying out the attacks against the Israeli Embassy and AMIA Jewish community center, killing 114 and leaving hundreds wounded – was noticeable, especially in comparison to the speech that Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor delivered immediately afterwards.

“There is a country which stood behind [the attacks], and its name is Iran,” Meridor said.

“We see what they have tried to do recently in Washington,” he added, referring to the alleged Iranian plot against the Saudi envoy to Washington and the Israeli Embassy.

Timerman was appointed to his current position by Kirchner in 2010. Diplomatic sources said the Jewish diplomat’s reluctance to point a finger at Iran might stem from his fears that Kirchner could remove him from his position in the next government she is the process of forming.

A few members of the Jewish community attending the event were highly critical of Timerman and the government’s commitment to finding the culprits of the bombings.

“We have a problem, because the country says whatever you want to hear,” said Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a Buenos Aires councilman. “It has business with Iran while saying at the United Nations that they are against it. Timerman has sat with the Iranian foreign minister in Syria. We know that Iran did these bombings.”

Timerman refused to respond to questions from the media.

Earlier in the day, Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky and World Zionist Organization chairman Avraham Duvdevani laid wreaths at a memorial service for the victims of the bombings.

“After the bombings, it was important for us to continue to help the community,” said a community member who was in the Jewish center building when it was attacked.

“Here we are today continuing to serve our community and proud of our ties to Israel.”

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