AJC Backs Effort to Overturn Argentine-Iranian "Truth Commission"

Nov 14, 2013, 16:08 ET from American Jewish Committee

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC strongly supports the request of Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman to declare unconstitutional the agreement by Argentina and Iran to establish a joint "truth commission" to investigate the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

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Back in February, when the Argentine National Congress approved the agreement, AJC Executive Director David Harris compared it to "asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht."

The attack on the AMIA building, which killed 85 people and injured some 300, was the worst terrorist atrocity in the Western Hemisphere before 9/11, and came two years after the deadly bombing of the Israeli embassy in the city.

Nisman, who has doggedly investigated the AMIA case, issued a report in 2007 that blamed Iran and its Hezbollah surrogates, and on the basis of that report Interpol issued "red notices"—arrest requests—for five Iranian officials, but they are still at large.

The proposed truth commission, with Iranian representation, would undoubtedly erect further roadblocks to bringing the perpetrators to justice. Nisman has asked a judge to overturn the agreement that created the commission, charging that it constitutes "undue interference of the executive branch in the exclusive sphere of the judiciary," and might lead international human rights bodies to sanction Argentina.

Harris said, "We salute Alberto Nisman, who has steadfastly sought to solve this case of state-sponsored terrorism, and who clearly understands that the proposed joint commission is just the latest Iranian tactic to drag out the investigation indefinitely. We hope that the Argentine judiciary will take up his request promptly, and affirm his view."

AJC has stood at the side of the Argentine Jewish community from the first moments of the tragedy in 1994, when an AJC group traveled to Buenos Aires to comfort the victims and their families and call for justice. AJC delegations have returned at least annually since. AJC has also been monitoring persistent Iranian attempts to gain influence in Latin America.

SOURCE American Jewish Committee