AJC Praises Court Ruling on Argentine MOU with Iran

May 16, 2014 -- New York -- AJC welcomed the Argentine federal court ruling that the country’s agreement with Iran to co-investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing is unconstitutional. “For two decades, the Jewish community has suffered an enormously frustrating pattern of delays in seeking justice,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Bravo to the court for rejecting this myth of criminals and victims cooperating on resolving one of the most heinous acts of terror in our time.”

The Argentine-Iran Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in January 2013, aimed to establish a “truth commission” to bring to justice those responsible for the massive terrorist attack, which destroyed the AMIA Jewish community building in Buenos Aires, left 85 dead and 300 injured.

But the Federal Criminal Appeals Court justices ruled yesterday that the MOU conflicts with and undermines an Argentine investigation approved years ago by the government’s executive and legislative branches. That probe, spearheaded by prosecutor Alberto Nisman, concluded in 2007 that Iran bears direct responsibility for the attack, and Interpol has since been seeking the apprehension of five Iranian officials.

When the MOU provision for a “truth commission” was first announced last year, AJC’s Harris compared it to “asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht.”

Two survivors of the bombing -- Daniel Pomerantz, AMIA Executive Director, and Anita Weinstein, of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Argentina, addressed the AJC Global Forum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in an emotional tribute for the 20th anniversary of the attack. As they recounted the attack on July 18, 1994, photos of each of the 85 killed were displayed on the large digital screen behind them.  Watch the Global Forum session at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTjcj478QUI

AJC has stood at the side of the Argentine Jewish community from the first moments of the tragedy in 1994, when an AJC group traveled to Buenos Aires to comfort the victims and their families and call for justice. AJC delegations have returned at least annually since. AMIA is a longstanding AJC international partner.

The MOU was ratified by the Argentine legislature a year ago, but it has not yet been implemented because the Iranian legislature did not approve it.