Been a while since the English-language media left the AMIA crisis for other pastures. We think a quick update is in order; with everything else happening, the danger of Iranian designs in Latin America hasn’t gone away.
Perhaps the most important development is what did not happen: Despite optimistic headlines from Tehran and Buenos Aires, to the best of our knowledge Iran’s Majlis (parliament) still has not approved the deal – which we remind readers was supposed to be a game-changer in the investigation into the 1994 bombing of Argentina’s Jewish community center in which 85 civilians were killed.
Question marks have punctuated this deal since its announcement. Some believe it’s all about bilateral trade and investment; others surmise that Argentina’s president seeks to follow in the footsteps of the late Hugo Chavez; still another school of thought holds that this is a very serious, geo-strategic development.
Our own attention has actually been focused from the beginning on the supposed guarantee that Iranian suspects in the bombing would be interrogated – this is a particularly interesting aspect because one or two are expected to run for president in Iranian elections this June. Thus, we weren’t too surprised by the cross-Atlantic ping pong surrounding the status of INTERPOL’s “red notice” arrest warrants against the Iranian suspects.
Since this issue was largely ignored by the western media, for readers’ benefit the following are the two versions of the same story:
Argentina: The [INTERPOL] letter went on to assure that the existing red notices, arrest warrants, issued by Interpol on the six Iranians suspected of being involved in the attack will remain active and not be lifted. The list includes Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
Iran: Ali Akbar Salehi argued that according to the memorandum or understanding signed by Iran and Argentina to help with the investigation of the deadly 1994 bombing of the Amia Jewish community centre, Interpol must eliminate the charges against the Iranian authorities”, among which figures the current Minister of Defence Ahmad Vahidi.
It’s clear why Tehran signed the deal. Wonder which side will have its way in the end?
Even if Cristina, Hector & Co. are sincere in pursuing justicia for the AMIA victims, Tehran’s just too wily a partner for this. The Iranians know what they want – not necessarily justice for Argentina’s dead and injured – and they don’t give up easily when it comes to their goals.
This point was made crystal clear recently by Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the new top commander of U.S. forces for Latin and South America. According to this report, he said:
“I’ve warned some of the — made mention to some of our friends in the region that these guys are very, very good at what they do. And very skilled at what they do. And that people should just be careful as to who they’re dealing with, whether they claim to be an Iranian journalist or Iranian peace worker or something, just to be careful because these often times are not what they appear to be or that their stated — what they’re doing in their country.”
“So I just, I think I need to let it go at that and can’t get into anything classified.”
Note the reference to posing as journalists and peace workers – how ironic. Argentina beware.
PS – Wishing our readers in the Christian world a Happy Easter.