March 31, 2011
Argentina offers assurances on terror probes
Argentina Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said he is committed to continuing the investigation of two bombings of Jewish targets in his country.
Timerman made the commitment Wednesday during a meeting in Buenos Aires with Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency, according to reports.
Timerman’s promise to continue to seek justice in the attacks comes following a report last weekend in the weekly Argentinian newspaper Perfil alleging that the South American country told Iran it would stop investigating two bombings of Jewish targets in exchange for better trade relations.
Israel had threatened to cancel Timerman’s scheduled visit to the Jewish state set for next week if he did not clarify that Argentina would continue to pursue the investigations. Iran is accused of being behind the attacks.
Timerman, who is Jewish, reportedly made the offer during a visit to Syria in January. Syrian President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Moallem reportedly were the mediators and brought the offer to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to Perfil, Argentina was hoping the deal would lead to more trade with Iran, which is currently estimated at $1.2 billion a year.
Under the reported deal, which is based on a classified Iranian document, Argentina would drop its investigations into the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, which killed 29 and injured 242, and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured.