US skeptical of Argentina-Iran 'truth c'tee'
By JPOST.COM STAFF AND HERB KEINON
"Iran’s record of cooperation with int'l authorities is profoundly deficient," State Department says of panel for AMIA bombing.
The United States said Thursday that it was skeptical that a just solution would result from the formation of a joint Argentinian-Iranian "truth committee" to investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing.
"Iran’s record of cooperation with international authorities is profoundly deficient, which underlines the concern that its engagement on this matter be focused on achieving justice promptly," the State Department said at a daily press briefing.
"We continue to stress that the Iranian government has a responsibility to cooperate fully with Argentine authorities in seeing that the perpetrators are brought to justice," it added.
Jerusalem said Wednesday that it will avoid getting into a nasty public “ping-pong” with Buenos Aires over the matter of the panel.
The spokesman’s comment
came after Buenos Aires responded angrily to Israel’s summoning of its
ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, where Israel protested the
The Argentinean Foreign Ministry issued a statement slamming
Israel’s protest, saying that summoning the ambassador was “improper” and
“against the traditional, friendly relationship” between the two
“The attack against the people of our country on July 18,
1994, did not involve any Israeli citizen,” the statement read. “The victims
were mostly Argentines and included six Bolivians, two Poles and one
Israel’s position, as was made clear to Argentinean Ambassador
Atilio Norberto Molteni, is that it was an interested party in the matter
because the Argentineans themselves linked the 1994 bombing to a blast two years
earlier at the Israeli Embassy, which killed 29 people.
Ministry official said it was not clear whether Argentina’s foreign minister,
Hector Timerman, would meet with Israel’s ambassador to Buenos Aires, Dorit
Shavit, who requested a meeting on the matter.
Officials in Jerusalem
said that Timerman seemed to have assuaged concerns of the Jewish community in
Argentina, whose leaders he met on Tuesday.
After meeting with the two
leading Jewish organizations on Tuesday, as well as with relatives of those
killed in the blast, Timerman – according to Argentinean press reports – said
that the agreement with Iran “does not ignore the local justice’ system’s
Argentina itself has found Iranians culpable, and asked
Interpol to issue warrants for the arrest of six officials, including Defense
Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
According to The Argentina Independent newspaper,
the agreement, signed by Timerman and his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi,
on Sunday, outlines the procedure by which the Iranians will be
The paper reported that the implicated Iranians will be
questioned by Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral and Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, both
Argentines. The interrogations will also be overseen by a Truth Commission
consisting of five non-Argentine or Iranian legal figures, two chosen by each
country and one agreed upon by both.
An Argentinean newspaper reported
two years ago that Buenos Aires was willing to stop investigating the bombings
in return for improved economic ties with Iran.
Timerman has denied that