BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez thinks that “Iran was involved” in the 1994 attack against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, or AMIA, building in Buenos Aires, according to an interview that was released on Sunday.
Fernandez published the entire transcription of her interview in March with the U.S. magazine The New Yorker, on her official website on Sunday.
In the interview with journalist Dexter Filkins, Fernandez stressed that after 21 years of the attack against AMIA – which left 85 dead and perpetrators of which still remain unknown –, only her government has made progress by signing the memorandum of understanding with Iran in 2013.
“If it hadn’t been adjudged unconstitutional by the Judiciary of Argentina, we would be in a condition to demand at the UN that Iran perform under their agreement, to perform under the agreement by the Truth Committee, which comprises 7 internationally renowned legal experts, for the Argentinean judge to go to Teheran,” she highlighted.
“Once the depositions of the Iranians are taken in Teheran, the proceedings may continue, people may be processed, evidence can be taken. Now we are in the same position we were 21 years ago, without anyone convicted, anyone in prison,” she added.
When asked about Iran’s involvement in the attack, she confirmed that “according to the statements of the Argentinean Judiciary, I have to say yes.”
“Obviously I think that Iran was actually involved. Or else, how could I ask for people to be extradited? I have to abide by the orders of the judge that directs that someone be extradited, being an Iranian citizen, obviously. Or else, it would almost be absurd,” she said.
The president also rejected allegations made by Alberto Nisman, late prosecutor investigating the attack on AMIA, who had filed a complaint against her for allegedly covering up Iran’s involvement in the attack, four days before his death in inexplicable circumstances.
In the lawsuit, which was dismissed by the Argentine judiciary, Nisman said that the memorandum of understanding was a tool to exonerate suspects of the attack in exchange for strengthening trade relations with Iran.
For Fernadez, the lawsuit and the death of Nisman was “a big political operation against the government, with nation-wide implications and also a global impact on the current situation in the Middle East, in the United States and elsewhere.”
The president also discussed other controversial topics, like the Argentine foreign policy which in 12 years has grown closer to Venezuela, Russia and China while distancing itself from United States.
“We are not distancing ourselves from the United States to approach Russia or China, there’s simply an acknowledgement of a multi-polar world.”