This week’s media watch raged about Argentina’s decision to sign an agreement with Iran effectively exonerating Tehran for the 1994 killing of 85 people in Buenos Aires. Since the coverage went blurry early on, we’d like to bring it into focus.
In a recent post I lamented that the country’s official ‘short memory’ appeared to be iniquitously disregarding its own collective memory. This week, it was put down in writing.
Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald ridiculed the Argentina-Iran deal as making a mockery of justice
“The deal seems to put Argentina fully within the Venezuelan-led club of Latin American countries that support some of the world’s worst human rights offenders.”
Oppenheimer, tries to rationalize:
“Why is Argentina doing this? One theory is that it’s a pre-emptive break with Western democracies in anticipation of a possible New York judge ruling next month that — if Argentina loses the case — could force Argentina to pay up to $10 billion to bond holders and drive the country into default.”
He goes on to note that:
“A second theory is that Fernández is acting under the influence of her close friend, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, whose narcissist-Leninist ruling style she seems to be increasingly copying.”
And what about:
“A third theory is that Fernández sincerely believes she can untangle the AMIA investigation with Iran’s cooperation.”
Whatever the reason, it is…
“A big blow to justice, and an insult to the memory of the 85 Jews and non-Jews who died in the terrorist attack.”
Ricardo Gil Lavedra highlights in the Argentinean press that the Iranians get everything they want, while the Argentineans gain nothing.
“In 2007, Argentine authorities secured Interpol arrest warrants for five Iranians and a Lebanese in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center. Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi is among the officials sought by Argentina, which is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish community.”
Back in May 2011, Buenos Aires passed up a golden opportunity to have Vahidi apprehended, when he visited next-door neighbor Bolivia for a rare trip outside Iran. Now, instead of facing Argentinean justice, the shoe is now on the other foot.
Two Iranian presidential candidates – Ali Velayati and Mohsen Rezai – will be on the bench… in Tehran, not in Buenos Aires. Velayati is one of the ‘Supreme Leader’s’ closest advisors. Rezai ran the Revolutionary Guards for 16 years. The ‘truth commission’ and any Iranian-led trial of this matter will be nothing short of a joke.
The media needs to come off its Israel fixation on this. The issue is about how Iran continues to prey on Latin America to cynically promote its selfish interests.
We should be crying for the people of Argentina.