Israel summons envoy over Iran-Argentina panel

J'lem protests Buenos Aires decision to establish "truth commission" with Tehran to investigate 1994 AMIA blast.

January 30, 2013 02:25
1 minute read.
AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires

Argentine bombing. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A lack of resolve following the 1992 bombing of Israel’s Embassy might be what led to the even deadlier attack two years later at the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, a senior Foreign Ministry official told Argentina’s ambassador on Tuesday.

Yitzhak Shoham, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for Latin America, summoned ambassador Atilio Norberto Molteni to protest Buenos Aires’s decision to establish a “truth commission” with Iran to investigate the 1994 Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) bombing that killed 85 people, and wounded hundreds more. The bombing at the Israeli Embassy killed 29.

“A lack of resolve in dealing with terrorism sends a message of weakness,” Shoham said.

“Had Argentina dealt resolutely with the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy, the 1994 AMIA bombing might not have happened.”

Shoham said that Israel was “astonished and disappointed” at the Argentinean government’s decision to collaborate with Iran after its “responsibility for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center was exposed by the investigation conducted by the Argentinean authorities themselves.”

Shoham also protested “the unacceptable attitude of the Argentinean government towards Israel since the beginning of contacts between Buenos Aires and Tehran.”

Shoham said that although the Argentinean authorities themselves exposed the “great resemblance” between the attacks and the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in carrying them out, “Argentina has not responded to Israel’s legitimate requests to be informed of its new diplomatic moves with Iran, nor of the way in which Argentina envisages bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Shoham said that Argentina’s behavior in this affair was “particularly disappointing” given the “intimate relationship to which Israel is accustomed with Argentina, a very friendly country.”

The “truth commission” agreement was signed on Sunday in Addis Ababa by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman who were attending an Organization of African Union summit.

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