B’nai B’rith International is appalled to learn the Argentine and Iranian foreign ministers are reported to have signed an agreement to create the “Commission of Truth,” an independent group that will investigate the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and wounded 300. B’nai B’rith will monitor the findings of the commission, as we are dubious of Iran’s ability to be a fair partner in the search for justice.
Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror, is widely acknowledged to be behind the AMIA attack. Officials from the top levels of the government were named by an Argentine prosecutor’s report as being responsible for the bombing. Interpol issued arrest warrants for the attack, but no arrests have been made.
“We are surprised that the Argentine government would team up with the Iranian government to seek out justice,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Given Iran’s deplorable judicial track record and its refusal to turn over those previously implicated in the bombings, there’s little reason to believe anything substantial will come out of this commission.”
Both countries’ parliaments must still ratify the agreement that will set up the group consisting of five “international jurists,” according to a post on Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s Facebook page, appointed by each country and one international lawyer “agreed to jointly … with high moral standard and legal standing, who shall act as chairman of the commission.”
“The creation of this ‘Commission of Truth’ seems like another way for Iran to push its influence on South America,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Iran has never had any interest in bringing terrorists to justice and it’s not going to start here. This suggests an Iranian propaganda move aimed at covering up actions and directives made by senior leaders in the country.”
One particularly interesting nuance of the agreement is that suspects may only be interrogated by Argentine officials in Tehran. This is the sort of stipulation that makes it difficult to see how anything truthful will come out of this commission.