Argentina’s Prosecutor General Alejandra Gils Carbo has prevented AMIA case Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman from attending the US Congress. Nisman was expected to expose the 500-page indictment accusing Iran of allegedly “infiltrating” Latin America to establish “intelligence networks”.
Washington’s invitation to Nisman was sponsored by Republican Ileana Ross Lehtinen, current chairwoman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee.
Argentina and Iran have moved towards a new stance in relations reaching a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding to jointly probe the July 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 87 and left hundreds maimed or injured.
This is not the first time the Gils Carbo has to face pressure by pro-Israel lobbies.
Following the approval of the Memorandum at Argentina’s Congress earlier this year, the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) and the Delegation of Israeli-Argentine Associations (DAIA) filed an appeal demanding the judiciary to declare the unconstitutionality of the Buenos Aires-Tehran accord.
Gils Carbo was officially nominated for the post of Prosecutor General last year by President Cristina Fernandez with both ruling coalition and opposition members of Congress approving her designation.
The MoU, which readies the creation of a Truth Commission to investigate the AMIA attack, has been recently approved by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without going through the legislative.
In the 500-page document Nisman paints a picture of Iran and Hezbollah’s vast network of sleeper cells in Latinamerica conducting “activities you wouldn’t imagine” or waiting indefinitely to receive an order to attack, the prosecutor told reporters when he unveiled his report in late May.
Nisman first accused Iran and Hezbollah of being behind the terrorist attack several years ago. But his new report details the infiltration of several Latin American countries through intricate intelligence networks and stresses that the AMIA bombing was just one cog in a greater plan: “a segment in a larger sequence”.
The US Congress wants to hear from Nisman about his investigation and the House Homeland Security Committee, scheduled a hearing titled “Threat to the Homeland: Iran’s Extending Influence in the Western Hemisphere”. The panel’s chairman, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), tweeted, “I invited AMIA prosecutor Nisman to testify about Iran’s influence in western hemp but Argentine gov denied his request. Not transparent”.
According to Argentine media, Nisman was ordered by Prosecutor General Alejandra Gils Carbó to not talk to Congress because the testimony “is not related to the function of the public prosecutor.” The government then “clarified” that it was an issue of approving travel costs.