Argentina’s unsolved mysteries


Argentina is saddled with two unsolved mysteries. The first is the source of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing attack in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, for which the government has never brought charges.

In January, prosecutor Alberto Nisman was hours away from presenting evidence of a government cover-up of the attack when he received a bullet in the head. The death of Nisman, who was Jewish, is the other mystery that now embroils the South American nation.

Nisman had accused Argentina’s current president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish, of covering up Iranian suspects in the AMIA case. Fernandez rejected the accusation. Nearly a year after Nisman was found dead on his kitchen floor, it has not been determined whether he was murdered or committed suicide.

Last week at a public event that included politicians, businesspeople and foreign ambassadors, the president of DAIA, the umbrella organization of Argentine Jews, said it was high time that Argentines got some answers from their government about the twin mysteries. “At least we should know what happened to the prosecutor,” Julio Schlosser said, adding that 21 years after the AMIA Jewish center bombing “we have no one guilty, no one paying for the crime in jail.”

If Iran was responsible for the AMIA bombing, that should be made clear and dealt with. If Iran was not involved, the Argentinian government should reveal the evidence that absolves Tehran of blame. In either event, Argentina needs to move more quickly.

The Obama administration has indicated that notwithstanding a nuclear agreement with Iran, the United States and its allies will continue to counter Tehran on non-nuclear issues. One of those issues is Iranian support of terror. If Iran had a hand in the AMIA bombing, this would be a good time for the U.S. government to make good on its promise to address the issue, and it would send a strong message to Argentina that the rest of the world is watching.

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