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Argentina's Jewish Community Calls For Action Against Iran, Hezbollah For 1994 Bombing

A policeman prevents people from approaching the site where a powerful explosion destroyed a seven story building housing, the Jewish Mutual Association of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, 18Jul1994

Days before the 26th anniversary of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center bombing that killed 85 in 1994, Jewish community leaders called for international action against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

The head of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, Ariel Eichbaum, said Friday, July 17, the international community should investigate the massacre that also left 300 injured.

Meanwhile, in a tweet on Saturday, July 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, "Today marks the anniversary of two attacks by Iran-backed Hizballah. We mourn with those who lost loved ones at the hands of terrorism in Argentina in 1994 and Bulgaria in 2012. The US continues to exert maximum pressure on Tehran. All responsible nations must join us."

After conducting an extensive investigation, Argentina announced that the Islamic Republic issued the order for the bombing the Lebanese Hezbollah carried it out.

In a meeting with Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez on Friday, AMIA head Ariel Eichelbaum called for an end to the bombers' impunity and asked that the Interpol "red alerts" about the Iranian defendants be maintained.

"For 26 years, we have lived with this impunity, and there is no single person detained for this crime against humanity," Eichbaum said.

Stressing that the Lebanese Hezbollah’s involvement in the bombing has been "proven", Eichbaum called South American and world leaders to act against the criminals, adding that the Argentinian judiciary considered the Islamic Republic of Iran the intellectual author of the attack.

Furthermore, Eichbaum urged Latin American and other countries to take "concrete action" against the Hezbollah "threat" and arrest Iranian suspects if they traveled abroad.

In 2019, the Argentine government listed the Lebanese Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, as Iran's accomplice.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied its involvement in the bombing.

The AMIA president also accused the Argentinian judiciary of dragging its feet and said political motives had overshadowed it.

An Argentine prosecutor investigating the case, Alberto Nisman, was found dead from a gunshot wound in 2015.

Immediately before his mysterious death, Nisman exposed a cover-up involving then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

On January 27, 2013, the Government of Argentina, led by Kirchner, announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Republic to establish a "truth commission" to investigate the AMIA bombing jointly.

The news triggered a barrage of criticism. David Harris from the American Jewish Committee said that "the idea of establishing a 'truth-finding commission' on the AMIA tragedy that involves the Iranian regime would be like asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht."

The former President is currently facing charges for an alleged cover-up of Iran's role through the memorandum of understanding signed during her 2007-15 presidency.

Her trial is still pending, but many observers doubt that it will ever take place.

Ms. Kirchner has been serving as Argentina's Vice President since 2019.