B’nai Brith Canada has just issued a press release to mark the seventeenth anniversary on July 18th. of the planting of a car bomb that destroyed the Association Mutual Israelite Argentina (AIMA) building, Jewish community center in Buenos Aires Argentina. The attack killed 85 people and wounded more than 300. The bombing was the second attack on a Jewish or an Israeli target in Buenos Aires. In 1992 the Israeli embassy was bombed. There has never been an arrest in either case.
A 2002 report found that leaders of Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for the bombing. Argentina has issued arrest warrants for several Iranian nationalists and a Lebanese nationalist. One of those named in the warrants is the current Iranian Defense Minister, Ahmad Vahidi. At the time of the AIMA attack Vahidi was the commander of a special unit of the revolutionary guard, known as the Quds Force.
Jack Dimant’s B’nai Brith Canada’s president says that there have been no arrests “because Iran continues to shelter [those responsible for the AIMA bombing] from the international justice system. Argentina’s demands for the extradition for Vahidi and the other nationals has been consistently rejected by the Iranian government. Tehran vehemently denies any involvement in either crime.
Dimant demands that “In order to obtain justice for the victims of the AIMA bombing, and for the victims of all acts of terrorism, the international community must join together and that responsible for the AIMA attack are made to stand trial in Argentina. As [Iran's client] spreads its web of terrorism across Mexico and Latin America, the pursuit of justice becomes even more important.”
Yet even after 18 years, this has not happened, due in large part to Iran’s threatening influence over international politics. On Saturday, the Iranian foreign ministry announced that the government was at last ready to discuss the AIMA bombings with the Argentinean government, in order to “prevent the possibility that the investigation will grow in the way”. This is just the latest revision of Iran’s longstanding opposition to any investigations at all- an opposition that has successfully denied justice to the Buenos Aires victims for nearly two decades.