What Alberto Nisman Found, and How It Might Have Gotten Him Killed

July 16 2015

Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor investigating Hizballah’s 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, discovered evidence of collusion between the Argentinian government and Iran in covering up the latter’s role in the attack. Along the way, Nisman also uncovered an expanding Iranian presence in South America, as Dexter Filkins reports:

According to former Venezuelan officials, Hugo Chávez introduced [then-Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad to leaders throughout Latin America. Among other things, Iran and Venezuela had established a weekly flight between Caracas and Tehran, and the two governments had set up a two-billion-dollar fund for investments in both countries. American officials say that Chávez also granted safe haven to operatives from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and from Hizballah. In 2007, Chávez agreed to allow Iran and Hizballah to use Venezuela as the base for a drug-trafficking and money-laundering network. . . .

As [Argentinian president] Cristina Kirchner solidified her relationship with Chávez, Argentina grew closer to Iran. During her first term, trade between the two countries doubled, with Iranians buying large quantities of Argentine grain. . . .

In Nisman’s view, Kirchner and [Foreign Minister Héctor] Timerman were so eager to strengthen their alliance with Iran that they were willing to sacrifice national sovereignty. “Let there be no doubt,” Nisman wrote. “The criminal plan consisted of eliminating the charges that the Argentine courts had filed against the Iranian officials [in connection with the AMIA bombing], and the best means that was found to clear those charges, provide immunity, and portray the matter in the tidiest possible manner to a deceived nation was to sign [an agreement with Iran to drop the investigation].”

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Read more at New Yorker

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Hizballah, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Venezuela

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia