Argentina’s New President Pushes Back against Iranian Influence in Latin America

Nov. 25 2015

Mauricio Macri’s recent victory in the Argentinian presidential election marks the end of twelve years of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner’s rule—and a welcome shift away from Buenos Aires’ alignment with Iran. However, writes Eamonn MacDonagh, that shift has its limits:

At his first press conference on Monday morning, the president-elect, who takes office on December 10, repeated two of his campaign commitments. The first of these was that he would send a bill to the nation’s congress to annul the 2013 pact with Iran, which ostensibly aimed to seek justice for the 85 victims of the 1994 terrorist attack on the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, but which the late federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman believed was no more than a façade to cover up a secret agreement that guaranteed impunity to the perpetrators. . . .

Even if Macri’s proposed bill gets through Congress, the step will be largely symbolic in nature, given that the Iranians have long since lost interest in implementing the pact, which in any case is bogged down in legal disputes in Argentina’s courts. Still, in the current global political climate, even symbolic steps to place limits on Iranian ambitions have to be valued positively. . . .

It is also unlikely that there will be any significant progress in the investigation into the AMIA massacre itself, for similar reasons. Again, there are no political gains to be had for Macri in putting any energy into pursuing this case. . . . And even if Macri was filled with desire to bring the AMIA killers to justice and find out what really happened to Nisman, it’s hard to imagine that he would get much in the way of encouragement from the Obama administration in Washington.

Read more at Tower

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs


Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy