(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/01/703x395xrisman.png.pagespeed.ic_.mzndR5KHcR.jpg)On July 18, 1994, a terrorist attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association led to the death of 85 innocent people and caused injuries to hundreds of others.
Since then, close analysis reveals that the investigation of the bombing of the Jewish center has been characterized by a lack of transparency, a plentitude of cover-ups and general injustice for those who were killed or those who lost their loved ones. Argentine federal judge Juan José Galeano was removed from handling the case in 2005.
So far, several suspects have been found not guilty. In an attempt to bring the assassins and terrorists to justice, Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos, Argentine prosecutors, charged and brought a strong case against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The charges focused on cooperation between Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia group, and Iran with respect to the bombing of the Jewish center.
Intriguingly, in 2013, the government of Argentina made an announcement that it had created a “truth commission” with the Iranian government in order to “analyze all the documentation presented to date by the judicial authorities of Argentina and Iran…and to give its vision and issue a report with recommendations about how the case should proceed within the legal and regulatory framework of both parties,” according to Argentine President Cristina Kirchner.
Nevertheless, this “truth commission” between the ruling clerics in the Islamic Republic and the government of Argentina was suspicious from the beginning. How can one trust governmental officials from Iran and Argentina cooperating together to find the assassins and perpetrators?
Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, the State Department’s official who deals with Latin American affairs, stated that she was “skeptical that a just solution can be found” via the “truth-commission” between the Iranian and the Argentine governments.
More scandalously, in a suspicious incident that has been characterized as a suicide by Argentine officials, Alberto Nisman was found dead in the bathroom of his apartment on the 13th floor of Le Parc Tower with a .22 caliber pistol.
Argentina’s Security Secretary Sergio Berni assured, “This is not a hypothesis, and I’m not talking about this case in particular, but … when you have a body, you have a gun and you have a bullet shell, all the paths point to a suicide.”
However, what would be prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s motive to kill himself at this crucial time? Nisman was found dead just before he was going to testify at a congressional hearing. Surprisingly, the ten Argentine Federal Police force members, who were bodyguards of the prosecutor Nisman, were not deployed at the time of his murder.
Nisman’s legal argument was that the Iranian government was the mastermind of the bombing of the Jewish building. Nisman argued that the Iranians had planned the attack in advance and financed the terrorists. In addition, the group which carried out the attack on Argentina’s soil was Iran’s ally, Hezbollah.
It is crucial to point out that this is not the first incident that suggests the ruling clerics of Iran, with the assistance of Hezbollah, have been engaged in overseas operations. Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic and Hezbollah, Iran’s ruling clerics have utilized Hezbollah fighters to silence and assassinate domestic oppositional figures, as well as others whom the Islamic Republic views as enemies.
The ruling clerics utilize several organizations in order to achieve their objectives of operating overseas and silencing rivals. The prominent arms of the Islamic Republic that operate in foreign countries are the Iranian Intelligence Ministry (Etela’at); the Quds force, which is a branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps; the Special Affair Committee; the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; and Hezbollah.
The overseas assassinations conducted by the Islamic Republic and its militia arms include both individuals and groups. To name a few, some of the targeted people have been: Secretary General of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, Dr. Abdol-Rahman Ghassemlou; Dr. Cyrus Elahi (who was shot dead in Paris after escaping his Iranian court death sentence for cooperating with Shah Shahriar Shafiq, who was also assassinated); Ali Akbar Tabatabai, shot dead in Maryland in the United States in his own home; General Gholam Ali Oveisi and his brother Gholam Hossein Oveis, shot dead in Paris; and Dr. Kazem Rajavi, brother of Massoud Rajavi, the MEK leader.
When such terrorist attacks occur, usually the governments of foreign countries have shown reluctance to hold Iranian officials responsible and bring them to justice. The Islamic Republic continues to violate international law and human rights. We can only hope that the perpetrators of these assassinations, particularly on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, will be brought to justice.
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