Saturday, February 07, 2015

Argentine Ambassador sends Members of Congress a letter on AMIA and Nisman

The Argentine Embassy in Washington has sent all Members of the US Congress a letter on the current controversy over AMIA and the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. (“Hay una búsqueda constante de justicia” Página/12 06.02.2015)

From Ambassador Cecilia Nahon's letter dated January 28, 2015:

The fight against impunity and international terrorism has been a fundamental pillar of the Governments of Presidents Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007) and Cristina Fernandez [sic] de Kirchner (2007 -present). Their Governments have actively promoted a firm state policy for the protection and defense of human rights nationally, regionally and internationally. Since 2003, Argentina has implemented the most comprehensive set of actions ever seen to bring truth and justice to the victims of the AMIA terrorist attack and to their families, and to punish all perpetrators and masterminds behind this terrible attack. These actions include the establishment in 2004 by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Argentina of a Special Investigation Unit headed by Nisman, which ultimately charged Iranian officials.

Hence, the Government of Argentina is compelled to dismiss as baseless the recent allegations brought by the Special Investigation Unit for the AMIA case against it. None of the elements in those allegations constitute evidence whatsoever of any involvement of the Government of Argentina to cover up any responsibility in the atrocious AMIA attack. Therefore, the Government of Argentina emphatically rejects each and every one of these allegations.

The commitment of the Government of Argentina to INTERPOL's issuance and maintenance of the red notices published with reference to the crimes being investigated in the AMIA case is unquestionable. Indeed, in his letter to Foreign Minister Timerman dated January 16, 2015, Ronald Noble, Secretary General of INTERPOL between 2000-2014 mentioned that "... on each occasion that you and I spoke with and saw one another in relation to the INTERPOL Red Notices issued in connection to the AMIA case, you stated that INTERPOL should keep the Red Notices in force. Your position and that of the Argentinean government was consistent and unwavering ...."

After the AMIA investigation had been at standstill for six years since Iran would not agree to extradite the accused, and mindful that under Argentine law a person cannot be judged in absentia, Argentina signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Iran in 2013 with the ultimate objective to allow the Argentine judge to interrogate the accused in Tehran. The goal of this judicial cooperation agreement, which was approved by the Argentine Congress, was to move forward with our tireless and unwavering fight against international terrorism by bringing to justice-with the tools provided by the Argentine judicial system - all perpetrators and masterminds involved in the AMIA attack, as well as those who participated or covered it up. Nothing in this MOU has blocked the continuation of the investigation into the AMIA case. In fact, Amnesty International stated in February 2013 that "... the agreement between Argentina and Iran is an opportunity to reactivate the 1994 bombing legal case ... by enabling the pending questioning to proceed ...."

Furthermore, it is worth recalling Argentina's request to the United States Government on September 26, 2013, to include the issue of the AMIA terrorist attack in the renewed process of dialogue between the United States and Iran. [italics in original; my emphasis in bold]
The opposition to Cristina's government and policies have been going all out to make her look like an enabler after the fact of Iranian terrorism over the AMIA case.

Based on what I know of the AMIA and Nisman cases, this is a reasonable and accurate statement of the actions and positions of the Argentine government. It's also a carefully crafted diplomatic document, of course.

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