July 15, 2011 – New York – AJC, marking the 17th anniversary of the horrific terror attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, called today on the international community to mobilize in support of Argentina’s quest for justice.
“Those governments truly committed to combating international terrorist organizations and their state sponsors must fully support Argentine President Cristina Kirchner’s resolute quest for justice,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Denial of justice in this tragedy remains an everlasting reminder of the dangers to the region posed by Iran and its allies.”
On the morning of July 18, 1994, a car bomb destroyed the AMIA headquarters, leaving 85 dead and 300 wounded. The deadliest terrorist attack ever in Argentina’s history came just two years after the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
President Kirchner and her predecessors have maintained that the AMIA bombing was an attack on Argentina, not just on the country’s Jewish community.
In 2006, an official Argentine government report prepared by Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman identified Iranian and Hezbollah figures as responsible for the attack. INTERPOL issued red notices for the capture of six suspects, including Ahmed Vahidi, now Iran’s Defense Minister.
“Shockingly, Minister Vahidi was in Bolivia in May at the invitation of President Morales, but he quickly left after Argentina denounced the invitation and visit,” said Harris. “Argentina’s repeated requests for Iran to extradite the five Iranian officials have been rebuffed, giving little hope to the families of AMIA victims and Argentina.”
AMIA is an AJC international partner. Ever since the 1994 terror attack, AJC has worked very closely with the Argentine Jewish community to bring justice.