Tags: Iran | Iran | Argentina | Buenos Aires | bombing | Jewish center | Alberto Nisman

NYT: Argentine Records Show Effort to Clear Iran in 1994 Bombing

By    |   Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:52 AM

A judge in Argentina has released transcripts of intercepted phone conversations between Iranian and Argentine officials that reveal efforts to cover up Tehran's involvement in the July 1994 terrorist attack on the Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people, The New York Times reported.

The wiretap transcripts are part of a 289-page criminal complaint drafted by special prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound on Sunday, the day before he was to present his findings to the Congress there.

The Argentine and Iranians officials discussed trading Teheran's oil in return for covering up Iran's involvement in the attack. Argentina was also to ship food to Iran. The implication is that Argentine officials would profiteer off these exchanges.

Nisman believed that the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah carried out the attack on behalf of its Iranian patrons.

If the transcripts are true, they appear to implicate President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in the failed conspiracy, which was supposed to lead to an announcement that the Iranians were blameless in the attack.

Kirchner's government has dismissed Nisman's suspicions as preposterous.

Until recently, Nisman had the cooperation in the investigation of a senior intelligence official named Antonio Stiusso. He was fired by Kirchner in December.

The Argentinean negotiators included Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. Among the Iranians involved in the talks was Mohsen Rabbani, who is believed to have helped coordinate the bombing. Bargaining between Timerman and then Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi began in January 2011 at a secret meeting in Syria.

The conspirators included cabinet ministers and union officials with ties to Kirchner who is sometimes referred to in the transcripts as "la jefa" or "boss woman," The Associated Press reported.

"The publication of Nisman's complaint is a first step that can contribute to the transparency of an investigation plagued by mystery and frozen for 20 years in a tomb of impunity," wrote Fernándo González in the El Cronista newspaper, according to the Times.

The investigation into who carried out the attack and why has been dragging on for 10 years. Nisman was appointed in 2005 by president Nestor Kirchner, the late husband of the current president.

Hezbollah also bombed the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992. That attack, reportedly masterminded by Imad Mugniyah, claimed 29 lives.

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A judge in Argentina has released transcripts of conversations between Iranian and Argentine officials that reveal efforts to cover up Tehran's involvement in the July 1994 terrorist attack on the Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85 people, The New York Times reports.
Iran, Argentina, Buenos Aires, bombing, Jewish center, Alberto Nisman
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2015-52-22
Thursday, 22 January 2015 07:52 AM
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