Major outcry has erupted amongst the Jewish community in Argentina after President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced yesterday that an agreement signed with Tehran to formally address the 1994 AMIA attack has been drafted for congressional approval. If signed into law, the agreement would allow for Argentine judges to interrogate Iranian citizens accused of causing the bombing that killed 85 people.
Because the terms of the agreement are reportedly unclear, and Iran is currently suspected by some countries of developing nuclear weapons, this progression in bilateral relations has caused widespread dissent, especially by leaders within the Jewish community.
Leaders of the AMIA and the Delegation of Israeli Argentine Associations (DAIA) have voiced their disapproval of the agreement, stating that the accord paves the way for a third attack. Guillermo Borger, president of the AMIA said that the group is “absolutely surprised,” to hear the national announcement to pass the agreement to the legislature, and, “if before we were dismayed by the memorandum that proposed the agreement; we are now trembling.
According to Julio Schlosser, leader of the DAIA, Iran cannot be trusted as a negotiator in this case, as it is the host country of the accused persons, denies the Holocaust, and is controversial for its nuclear arms programme. Schlosser insists that under these circumstances, the terms of the agreement do not provide the clarity that the case merits and establish a precarious settlement.
Other spokespeople from the DAIA also reject the proposition to move the agreement with Tehran into law, saying, “After profound analysis and debate, the leaders of the DAIA cannot accept the stated memorandum,” as it, “does not contribute to the advancement in the search for truth and justice in the context of the pending court case in our country.”
With the Frente para la Victoria (FpV) majority in both houses, Congress is expected to ratify the memorandum, although opposition seats generally disagree with the terms of the agreement. Despite public rejection of the proposal by the Frenta Amplio Progresista (FAP) and the Pro, lawmakers have already begun to prepare commissions to implement the law should it be endorsed.