By Natalia Aguiar, 5 July 2015
A series of confidential documents that Foreign Minister Hector Timerman gave to the Justice system reveal that during the negotiations with Iran over the MOU, the Iranian representatives complained to the Argentine delegation about the actions by prosecutor Alberto Nisman. It was at a meeting of April 6, 2014, in Dubai, one year after the signing of the agreement, held to move forward with its implementation and the taking of testimony from the Iranians who were accused of the bombing of the AMIA, according to documents obtained by PERFIL. “Iranian Delegation mentioned its displeasure and surprise at the latest document from prosecutor Nisman and that it served for those in their country who are criticizing the memorandum,” the last paragraph reads on page 8 of the file that Timerman handed in to Justice.
Besides revealing this criticism of Nisman, the secret documents portray the active involvement of Juan Martín Mena, then Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice and now second in command at the Intelligence Secretariat, in the secret negotiations with Iran. Mena played an active role in at least two meetings after the signing of the agreement: in Zurich, in late November 2013, and in Dubai in April 2014.
The day the Iranians complained about Nisman’s brief, they were referring to the opinion from the prosecutor saying that the memorandum was “unconstitutional” and that it was an “improper interference” by the Government in the terrain of the judiciary.
The documents were delivered by Timerman to the judiciary in connection with the case where it must be determined whether the memo is constitutional or not. They were written by Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain in order to keep the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aware of the talks with the Iranians.
According to the confidential report, the Argentine delegation -which met several times with the Iranians- was also made up by the Solicitor of the Treasury of the Nation, Angelina Abbona, head of the attorneys of the State; the Foreign Ministry’s legal counsel, Susana Ruiz Cerruti; and Holger Martisen, now the deputy director of the Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry.
The group of Iranian officials was led by Mohsen Baharvand, who was accompanied by legal and political advisers from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
At the talks in Dubai, the Iranians said they were considering how to implement the interrogation of the suspects on Iranian soil. The Argentine delegation proposed that it be done at the Argentine embassy in Tehran.
The documents also reveal that the Iranians suggested that the investigations being conducted by the Argentine judge for the bombing of the AMIA be done in an international court, but the Argentine side dismissed that possibility, because Argentine law could not be applied there.
Then came the proposed committee of international jurists: it was the Iranians’ idea.
Following the meeting of November 20 and 21 in Zurich between the two delegations, the Argentine deputy foreign minister wrote in his report to Timerman that the Iranians apologized for the delay in implementing the agreement because of the elections going on in the country during 2013.