A meeting between Argentina (A non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council beginning in January 2013) and Iran discussing the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 people and wounded 300 is cause for great concern.
Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met to discuss legal issues stemming from the attack. It is commonly accepted knowledge that Tehran was behind the bombing.
Last week at the United Nations Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad initiated the meeting between the foreign ministers, a move that is clearly intended to advance Iran’s interests in the region.
Reports of the meeting are shocking to B’nai B’rith, the Jewish world and the families of the AMIA bombing victims. Perhaps even more surprising because Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman provided extensive evidence of Iran’s involvement in the bombing, leading Interpol to issue arrest warrants for those Iranian officials believed to be directly involved with the attack.
Argentina’s open dialogue with Iran and Timerman’s recent statement of support for the regime’s nuclear energy program is extremely alarming and makes it appear as if the country is moving to bolster ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his allies in the region.
A conversation between the two countries contributes to a sense of unrest in the Jewish community of Latin America.
B’nai B’rith International strongly condemns Iran’s penetration of the region—a move that needs to be watched with great caution.