A former Argentine foreign minister admitted Iran was behind the 1994 bombings in Argentina that targeted and killed 85 people at a Jewish center.
The 1994 bombing took place in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and targeted the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish Center.
In a recorded conversation from 2012, former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told former AMIA President Guillermo Borger in a phone call, “eighteen years ago they [Iran] planted the bomb.” The leaked recordings were aired by Argentine radio station Mitre on Friday, according to a Times of Israel report.
Timerman made the call to Borger to express his concern over AMIA’s criticism of the then-ongoing negotiations between the former government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Argentina and Iran to investigate the attack.
“I’m calling you because it hurts. It hurts me as a Jew to hear the critics from AMIA. And it seems that the best choice is to do nothing, and if we [the government] do nothing, the AMIA will be happy. But I’m doing this for AMIA,” Timerman said in the recording.
Timerman also referenced Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who led a high-profile investigation into Iran’s connection to the bombings and an alleged cover-up by the Kirchner government. Timerman said Nisman told him he initially supported the negotiations, however Nisman would later challenge Argentina and Iran’s agreement to investigate the bombing jointly.
Nisman was found dead in his apartment in Buenos Aires on January 18 of this year, the day before he was scheduled to present evidence implicating the Argentine government’s cover-up of Iran’s involvement in the bombing. His cause of death is still to be determined.
The joint investigation agreement with Iran has since been voided by the new Argentine government, however several questions remain unanswered. It is still unclear as to why Kirchner, who was a one-time supporter of Nisman’s efforts, made such a quick and drastic change in her policy toward Iran. However, it is known Argentina’s softened position on Iran coincided with Kirchner’s growing relationship with former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Chavez, known to have close ties to former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is also alleged to have had close ties to Iranian military and paramilitary officials until his death.
Nisman’s death remains a mystery, the timing of which in conjunction with the foreign minister’s admission continue to raise suspicions.