Hector Timerman 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Head of the Jewish Agency, Nathan Sharansky, said on Wednesday that Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has stated his deep commitment to investigating two terrorist bombings against Jews in the South American nation in the 1990s, The Associated Press reported Thursday. The Argentinain Foreign Ministry issued a statement confirming Timerman met with Sharansky but it did not mention the investigation or the questions about Iran.
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Sharansky's comments came after Argentina’s refusal to publicly relate to a tabloid report that it was willing to stop investigating two bombings of Jewish targets there in the 1990s in return for improved economic ties with Tehran.
On Tuesday, Israeli
diplomatic officials said that if Timerman
didn’t address the issue, then there would be no reason for him to visit Israel
as he had planned during the first week of April. That visit was scheduled long
before the article appeared on Saturday in the Argentinian tabloid
Israel’s envoy to Buenos Aires asked the Argentinian authorities
for a response to the report earlier in the week, but no response has been
Instead, Israel has heard through unofficial channels that
Timerman said he would not dignify the report with a comment, and that he does
not have to give a third country an accounting of Argentina’s relations with
Israel’s response was that since three Israeli diplomats
were killed in the bombing on the Israeli Embassy in 1992 that left 29 people
dead and 240 more wounded, it deserved to be kept abreast of all the
developments pertaining to the 19-year investigation.
Two years after
that attack, another bombing took place at the Jewish Center in Buenos Aries,
killing 85 people and wounding 300.
Israel, Argentina and the US have all
blamed Iran for the bombings, which were allegedly carried out by
Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is one of five people
wanted by Interpol for the Jewish Center bombing.
Timerman met in
Damascus in January with Syrian President Bashar Assad and, according to Perfil
after that meeting the Iranian foreign minister wrote to Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying that Argentina was “no longer interested in solving
these two attacks, but would rather improve its economic relations with
Israeli officials held out the possibility that Timerman would
clarify the matter during an expected meeting later this week with Jewish Agency
Chairman Natan Sharansky, currently on a four-nation visit to South
If that doesn’t materialize, the officials said, it would be
fair to categorize the current situation between Israel and Argentina as a
Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor handling the court
case on behalf of the government, dismissed the Perfil
report as “absolutely
preposterous, absurd,” telling Prensa Judia
, a local Jewish newspaper, that the
investigations into the attacks continue without hindrance.