January 28, 2013 – New York – AJC, the global advocacy organization, is deeply dismayed by Argentina’s decision to establish with Iran a “truth commission” to investigate the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
“The idea of establishing a ‘truth’ commission on the AMIA tragedy that involves the Iranian regime would be like asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “It is offensive not only to the families of the 85 murdered and hundreds wounded, but to the entire Argentine nation which for more than 18 years has sought justice.”
Argentina thoroughly investigated the bombing, and based on the government special prosecutor’s report Interpol has sought since 2007 six Iranian officials, including the current defense minister in connection with the attack. Further, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had vowed repeatedly to apprehend and try those responsible for the terror attack.
The “truth commission” agreement was signed in Addis Ababa by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman. The two had met for the first time in September in New York during the UN General Assembly session, and again in Switzerland earlier this month to discuss the AMIA case.
“Iran’s complicity in the attack and lack of cooperation with Argentina to bring justice is enormously frustrating,” said Harris. “But the Argentine government’s acquiescence in this charade called a truth commission is inexplicable and will fundamentally undermine the efforts of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman and Interpol to bring justice.”AMIA is a longstanding AJC international partner. AJC has stood at the side of the local Jewish community from the first moments of the tragedy in 1994, when an AJC group traveled to Buenos Aires, calling for justice and returning at least annually since. At the same time, AJC has been warning about the concerted Iranian attempt to gain a bigger foothold in the Western Hemisphere.