Report: Argentina offered to 'forget' bombings for improved ties
Argentinean daily says South American country told Islamic Republic it would suspend probe of deadly attacks on Israeli embassy, Jewish center in 1990s in order to increase trade between countries
During secret talks with Iran, the Argentinean government offered to "forget" the bombings of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in the capital Buenos Aires in the 1990s in exchange for improved ties between the two countries.
The Argentine weekly Perfil reported Saturday that the negotiations were aimed at increasing the trade volume between Argentina and the Islamic Republic, which is currently estimated at $1.2 billion a year.
According to the report, Cristina Kirchner's government offered to suspend the investigation of the bombings, which are believed to have been orchestrated by Iran.
Memorial ceremony in Buenos Aires for bombing victims (Photo: Reuters)
It was further reported that a memo sent by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that "Argentina is no longer interested in solving the mystery of these two attacks and would rather improve its economic relations with Iran."
Perfil said Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman asked Syrian President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Moallem to relay the offer to Tehran. The three met at the Syrian city of Haleb on January 23, the weekly said.
In September Kirchner told the UN that Argentina would continue the investigation and demanded that Iran hand over those responsible for the attacks.
In the 1992 embassy bombing, 29 people were killed and 242 were injured. In the bombing at the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, 85 people were killed and more than 300 were injured. No one has been indicted despite the fact that Israel and the US have been assisting in the investigation.
Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is wanted by Interpol for the attack on the Jewish center, as are four other Iranians.
Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman said Vahidi was accused of "being a key participant in the planning and of having made the decision to go ahead with the attack."
Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah commander who was assassinated in Damascus in 2008, was also suspected of involvement in the attack.
Also read here how Argentina backstabbed Israel before.