The Argentine-Israel Association, AMIA, expressed on Wednesday great dismay given the “strong threats” in the letter sent by Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman announcing he was quitting as member of the century old organization.
We've taken notice of your letter in which you present your indeclinable resignation as member of the institution. We reject point blank the terms used in the letter which we consider false, unfounded and slanderous towards AMIA and its leaders, points out the reply.
In a release signed by AMIA secretary general Jorge Sobol and president Leonardo Jmelnitzky, AMIA considers intolerable and inadmissible the most minimum insinuation that the organization and its elected authorities could have acted with the purpose of putting obstacles to the investigation on course because of the terrorist attack of which we were victims.
We regret that having expressed a position contrary to that of the Memorandum of Understanding, signed with the Republic of Iran we have become the target of such serious as insulting accusations from you. Those reactions only come to show the complete lack of respect for dissent and the impossibility of accepting different positions.
The AMIA authorities expressed consternation because of the strong threats in Timerman's letter, concern that increases taking into account from which they come since they originate in the person who holds the post of foreign minister of the Nation.
Today as always we reaffirm our commitment and will continue to demand that the branches of the State comply with their responsibility of maximizing efforts to find, take to court and condemn all those responsible, in the framework of the rule of the law and the National Constitution.
On Tuesday Timerman sent a letter saying he was quitting as a member of AMIA, and accused the organization of impeding the advance into the ongoing investigation of the terrorist attack against the AMIA building, back on 18 July 1994, which remains unsolved. In the same letter he demanded that the right to speak on my name be withdrawn from DAIA, the mother organization of Argentine Jewish groups.
In the 1994 attack, 85 people were killed, 300 injured and since the investigation seemed to lead nowhere, when Nestor Kirchner became president (2003/2007) he named a special prosecutor for the AMIA case, Alberto Nisman.
However Nisman last January accused Cristina Fernandez, Hector Timerman and other top officials of a cover-up plot to disengage alleged Iranian ministers and diplomats, with the help of Hezbollah, from the attack. A few days later and before going to Congress to explain the terms and extent of his accusations Nisman was found dead with a shot in his head in the bathroom of hits apartment.
So far Argentine prosecutors have been unable to determine whether Nisman was killed or committed suicide, and there is an ongoing litigation with the relatives of the dead prosecutor.
The Memorandum of Understanding refers to a document agreed by Argentina with Iran in 2013 which would help with the AMIA investigation including Iranian officials questioned by Argentine prosecutors and magistrates.
The MoU was approved after much dispute in the Argentine congress but was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, as the Jewish associations were demanding. The Iranian congress did not even consider the MoU, they simply boxed it.