Commemoration Puts Renewed Focus on Argentina-Iran Agreement on AMIA Bombing
B’nai B’rith International remembers the 21st anniversary of the Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires. On the afternoon of March 17, 1992, a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into the corner of the embassy and then detonated multiple bombs. The attack killed 29 people, injured 242 and also destroyed a church and a school. It was the deadliest terror attack in Argentina until the Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building was bombed in 1994. That attack killed 85 people and wounded 300. Iran has been linked to both bombings, but none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.
“When you think about the attacks in ’92 and ’94, you think of the shock and sadness they instilled. These attacks helped show the world the far reach of Iranian terror,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “The in-roads made by Iran to perpetrate the first attack helped open the door for the second.”
With two horrific attacks on Argentina credited to Iran’s terror arm, Hezbollah, it’s shocking that the Argentine government has entered into an agreement with Tehran to “investigate” the AMIA bombing. An official report from the Argentine prosecutor’s office already named Iran as responsible for the AMIA attack. Since 2007, an INTERPOL “red notice” (indicating that Argentina is seeking the arrest and extradition of a particular person) has been issued for Iran’s current defense minister.
Despite Argentina’s own reports blaming Iran, it has now entered into an agreement with Iran which purports to cooperate in finding the attackers. In January the Argentine and Iranian foreign ministers agreed to create the “Commission of Truth,” that will investigate the 1994 AMIA bombing. The deal was approved on Feb. 28 by the Argentine Congress. It is shocking to think Argentina expects Iran to be a fair partner in the search for justice.
“Had there been a serious investigation of the ‘92 bombing of the Israeli embassy and then had the perpetrators been brought to justice, it might have sent a clear message to Iran and its Hezbollah operatives,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Iran, through Hezbollah, has carried out global terror attacks for decades. They need to be held accountable. If anything, these attacks show how dangerous Iran can be and its refusal to cooperate during the 21 years since the embassy attack should be enough proof to Argentina and other countries that Iran will continue to stonewall and obfuscate its crimes.”