Rescue workers search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a powerful car bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires headquarters of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), in this July 18, 1994 file photo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
This week the Jews of Argentina marked the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina), which left 85 dead and 300 injured.
But the commemoration of the 18th of July is not solely or even principally a day of remembering for Jews. It is a day that should be marked by all Argentinians as a reminder that all is not well in Argentina.
It is also a day to remember that global Islamic terror sponsored by Iran remains a threat to the Western world just as it was in 1994.
Over two decades after a truck filled with explosives rammed the Jewish community center in downtown Buenos Aires – still the highest number of Jewish fatalities killed in an anti-Semitic attack since the Holocaust – many basic questions surrounding the bombing still remain unanswered. Though repeated attempts have been made to find the perpetrators, a combination of corruption and incompetence has prevented any real headway.
Moreover, as Jews gathered in Argentina and around the world to commemorate those who were killed, Iran – the country Israel says is behind the bombing – was in the headlines again.
The same day Tehran’s diabolical international influence was being commemorated in Buenos Aires, news that Iran would become a nation with nuclear arms capability sooner than previously thought was brought to the world’s attention.
According to a document obtained by The Associated Press, restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will ease in slightly more than a decade. As of January 2027, Iran can start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines.
The same impenetrable underworld of players with ties to Iran is connected to the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who was investigating the attack.
In January 2015, Nisman accused Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, and others close to the government of a spectacular crime. They were the “authors and accomplices of an aggravated cover-up and obstruction of justice,” Nisman told a Buenos Aires court.
Kirchner et al had allegedly attempted to protect from prosecution top-ranking Iranian officials and members of Hezbollah whom Nisman claimed were responsible for the bombing of AMIA.
But the night before he was slated to present his case to Congress members in Buenos Aires, Nisman was found dead on the floor of his bathroom, a .22 caliber bullet in his head in what appeared to be a suicide (he had been holding the gun, the doors to his apartment were locked from inside).
An independent investigation by Nisman’s wife, a senior Argentinean judge, found that Nisman was murdered.
Once again, the suspects were the same: Iran, Hezbollah, and members of Argentina’s intelligence forces that purportedly provided inside information and helped make local connections. Like the AMIA bombing and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires which killed 29, the Nisman death has remained unsolved.
All of these incidents should be a reminder of Iran’s nefarious influence not just in the Middle East but throughout the world.
Iran has made inroads in South American countries like Venezuela, which under the Chavez and Maduro regimes cooperated with Tehran on a broad range of issues, including in the field of nuclear energy. Countries like Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia have developed drug trafficking and terrorism ties with Iran, as part of a rabidly anti-Western, anti-American sentiment that led to that alignment with Iran.
And now it emerges that Iran will be able to return to uranium enrichment sooner than previously thought.
On the anniversary of the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, we should remember that Iran’s dangerous influence in Syria, Iran, Yemen and Lebanon but also in Buenos Aires and Caracas is not just a lesson of history.
It remains a living reality. The international community should keep this in mind on the anniversary of the AMIA bombing, as they monitor Iran’s nuclear arms ambitions.