By Matthew Levitt, 28 December 2015
In his first press conference as Argentina’s newly elected president, Mauricio Macri announced his intention to officially nullify the deal the previous government of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner signed with Iran to form a “truth commission” to jointly probe the 1994 bombing of the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. That deal — from its inception, a travesty of justice — is now dead. Macri also removed the embarrassingly incompetent prosecutor assigned to the case by the Kirchner government after the mysterious murder of former prosecutor Alberto Nisman. But there is still more work to be done, including investigating the Iranian agents in Argentina who pursued the deal on Tehran’s behalf. Before his death, Nisman identified two Iranian agents in particular who were acting under the direct orders of none other than Mohsen Rabani, the fugitive Iranian agent who masterminded the AMIA bombing.
In the wake of the bombing, investigators determined that Rabani had been using local Shiite scouts to assess Jewish and American targets in Buenos Aires since 1983. According to prosecutors, Rabani’s surveillance reports were “a determining factor in the making of the decision to carry out the AMIA attack.” Iran sent funds for the plot to Rabani’s personal accounts at three different banks in Argentina. Rabani helped procure the van used in the attack, and then two days before the bombing, he placed a call from his cellphone while in the vicinity of the garage where the truck bomb was parked, near AMIA, to the Iranian-owned Government Trade Corporation (GTC), which was believed to be a front for Iranian intelligence.