The Argentinian prosecutor in charge of investigating the bombing at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, has accused Iran of infiltrating several South American countries and building intelligence stations from which terrorist attacks could be planned and carried out.
Alberto Nisman issued a 502-page indictment on Wednesday placing responsibility for the bombing, which killed 85 people, on the highest authorities in the Islamic Republic.
In particular, Nisman named Mohsen Rabbani, a former Iranian cultural attache, as the coordinator of Iranian clandestine activities on the continent.
Nisman also outlined Iran’s “dual use of diplomatic offices, cultural or charity associations and even mosques, as coverage to hide illegal activities.”
The prosecutor said the AMIA bombing did not “constitute an isolated event,” but was “part of a bigger image, dominated by the strong and aggressive Iranian infiltration in the region in which Rabbani did not limit himself to Argentina, but… based on the gathered evidence, extended his activities to Guyana and to several South American countries,” according to a statement sent out by Nisman’s office.
“Based on countless reports, evidence, testimonies, court and investigative records related to other countries of the region, North America and Europe – including rulings of foreign courts against the Iranian regime — [Nisman] proved the identical decision-making mechanism, planning and execution of terrorist attacks verified in different countries, which were judicially attributed to Iranian intelligence agents,” according to a summary of the indictment.
Countries where Iranian terrorist activity was alleged include “Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname,” according to the statement.
The Iranian embassy in Argentina and several Iranian “front companies” were accused of providing means and cover for those involved in the AMIA attack, including Hezbollah man Samuel Salman El Reda, whom Nisman confirmed used a fake Colombian identity to enter Argentina.
The report quotes the then-commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Javad Mansouri, as saying, “Our revolution can only be exported with grenades and explosives.” Mansouri went on to become Iran’s ambassador to China.
A 1982 seminar in Iran attended by hundreds of religious men from 70 countries is highlighted in the report as a “turning point for the regime’s method to export the [Islamic] Revolution.” The regime subsequently summoned each Iranian embassy “to turn into an intelligence center.”
Nisman requested that Interpol “take further measures in order to detain all the defendants in the AMIA case with international arrest warrant [sic].”
In February, the Argentinian Senate approved a controversial agreement with Iran to probe the 1994 bombings.
The agreement called for Argentina and Iran to form a joint “truth commission” to investigate the attack. Argentine and Iranian judicial officials were to question five Iranian suspects, including Defense Minister Ahmed Vahidi, in Tehran.
Jewish groups pilloried the deal as tantamount to allowing a murderer to investigate his own crime.
Last week, Iran’s Guardian Council approved the presidential candidacies of Mohsen Rezai and Ali Akbar Velayati, accused of planning the 1994 attacks. They are among 8 candidates due to run for president on June 14.
Rezai is under an international arrest warrant, or red notice, from the Interpol international police agency.
JTA contributed to this report.