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Kirk, Gillibrand Call on Kirchner to Reconsider "Truth Commission" Re-investigation of 1994 Jewish Center Bombing 

Monday, Mar 11, 2013

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to the President of Argentina today asking for an urgent review of its January 27, 2013 announced decision to establish a "Truth Commission" with Iran to "re-investigate" the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association.  This terrorist act killed 85 people and injured 300, and was the largest attack on a Jewish target since World War II. The Senators argued the matter had already been established by the Argentinian courts, which in 2006 indicted eight senior Iranian officials with ties to the terrorist organization Hezbollah for their responsibility in the bombing. 

 

"We ask that you urgently review this decision to establish a 'Truth Commission,'" the Senators wrote. "Since the AMIA attack, Iranian government’s support for terrorism and devastating human rights abuses have only grown, from responsibility for the deaths of American service members in Iraq to helping Syrian President Assad slaughter the Syrian people.  Overturning of a legal process and indictment not only dishonors the Argentine victims of this terrorist regime, but sends exactly the wrong signal to Tehran’s leaders about responsibility for their actions." 

 

The full text of the letter is below and here.

 

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

 

Dear Madam President,

 

We are writing to express our grave concern regarding Argentina’s recent agreement with Iran to jointly establish a “Truth Commission” to “re-investigate” the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA).  We fear this downgrading to a “commission” will lead to the dismissal of charges and the whitewashing of this heinous crime.

 

In 2006, your nation’s prosecutors indicted eight senior Iranian officials for directing, planning and executing the 1994 bombing of the AMIA in Buenos Aires. Five of these officials and a senior operative of the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah received Interpol “red notices” requesting their arrest.  The bombing of the AMIA, which killed 85 people and injured approximately 300, was the largest attack on a Jewish target since World War II.

 

It is critically important to maintain the indictment against the Iranian perpetrators as it provides the basis for current Interpol red notices.  That is why we find it so disturbing that on January 27, 2013, you announced that Argentina and Iran will jointly establish an extrajudicial “Truth Commission” to “re-investigate” the bombing – even though the truth in this matter has already been meticulously established in Argentine courts.   The Argentine Congress narrowly approved the "commission" on February 28, 2013. 

 

The extrication of this case from that legal process represents a clear opportunity for Iran to undo the Argentine indictments against its senior officials.  If charges against senior Iranian officials were dropped, it would be an affront to both the victims of the attack and to their bereaved families.  Guillermo Borger, the current president of the AMIA, has warned that the precedent of allowing the Iranian regime to evade responsibility for its crimes might even encourage another devastating attack.

 

We ask that you urgently review this decision to establish a “Truth Commission.” Since the AMIA attack, Iranian government’s support for terrorism and devastating human rights abuses have only grown, from responsibility for the deaths of American service members in Iraq to helping Syrian President Assad slaughter the Syrian people.  Overturning of a legal process and indictment not only dishonors the Argentine victims of this terrorist regime, but sends exactly the wrong signal to Tehran’s leaders about responsibility for their actions.

 

We look forward to your timely response.

 

Sincerely,

 

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