Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday expressed disappointment with the resolution of the Argentinian Congress earlier in the day to conduct a joint investigation with Iran of the 1994 Jewish center bombing that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires.
“Past experience has shown that agreements with the government of Iran are not kept, and fail to change the line of Tehran,” a ministry statement read. “Unfortunately, the current agreement will also fail to achieve what has been and still is the only goal: bringing to justice those responsible for the terror attacks in Buenos Aires and punishing them for their deeds.”
Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman reportedly rebuked the Israeli ambassador to Buenos Aires during a recent meeting, castigating Israel for demanding an explanation for the joint Argentine-Iranian probe.
Timerman summoned Ambassador Dorit Shavit for a “difficult, intense and unpleasant” meeting on January 31, according to Foreign Ministry sources quoted in Haaretz. In the meeting, he “sharply criticized” Israel for interfering in Argentina’s affairs and implied that Israel’s interest in the bombing “encourages anti-Semitism” by implying Jewish Argentinians have split loyalties.
Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has defended the pact as a way to break what she called a long impasse between her country and Iran.
“The memorandum of understanding we have signed is a step toward unblocking a case that has been paralyzed for 19 years,” she said in an appeal to Congress to approve the “truth commission.”
“What I want to avoid… is the pain of the [victims'] families and the country’s shame by finding the path to break the deadlock,” Fernandez said. “Dialogue is a part of Argentina’s foreign policy.”
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