Daily Telegraph: Israel has demanded that Argentina explain claims that it told Iran it would stop investigating two terrorist bombings on Jewish targets in return for better trade relations.
The Daily Telegraph
Israel has demanded that Argentina explain claims that it told Iran it would stop investigating two terrorist bombings on Jewish targets in return for better trade relations.
By Robin Yapp, Sao Paulo
President Cristina Kirchner’s government allegedly indicated it was prepared to suspend inquiries into attacks on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association in 1994, that killed 114 people.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, is said to have written to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to tell him Argentina “is no longer interested in solving these two attacks, but would rather improve its economic relations with Iran.”
The memo, which was leaked to the Argentinian newspaper Perfil, was apparently written after Hector Timerman, the Argentine Foreign Minister, met with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, a close ally of Iran, in January.
The July 1994 car bomb attack on the seven-storey Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, killed 85 people and left up to 300 injured, making it the country’s worst terrorist attack.
Two years earlier a bomb had destroyed the Israeli embassy in the capital of Argentina, killing 29 people and injuring more than 240.
Argentine officials, the United States and Israel have all blamed Iran for orchestrating the two bombings, which they say were carried out by Hezbollah.
Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defence minister, is one of five people wanted by Interpol for the 1994 bombing.
Iran has denied involvement in the attacks.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that if the claims about Mr Timerman were true, “then it would be a display of infinite cynicism and a dishonor to the dead.”
He said he was awaiting an official comment from Argentina amid reports that Israel could postpone a visit Mr Timerman is due to make there next week as a result of the claims.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry has not made any statement on the matter.
Trade between Argentina and Iran is currently worth around $1.2bn (£750m) a year.