To Bring the AMIA Bombers to Justice, Argentina Needs American Help

January 20, 2016 | Toby Dershowitz and Joseph Humire
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While Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, has encouraged investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, and the mysterious death of its lead investigator, Alberto Nisman, there are reasons to worry that nothing of substance will eventuate. Toby Dershowitz and Joseph Humire argue that American assistance can make a difference:

With a fresh investigation under new stewardship, Argentina should undertake—and the United States should support—an independent inquiry into whether Iran had any role in Nisman’s murder. Washington should share its intelligence on the role of Iranian networks in and around Argentina at the time of Nisman’s death. . . .

The lifting of trade, banking, and other sanctions as part of the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran will make it more difficult for the new Argentine government to counter Iran’s influence in its borders. The influx of Iranian cash may be used to curry political and intelligence favors with Argentine industries that could be tempted to accept even uncomfortable offers because of their desperate economic situation. Iran has been known to provide commercial cover for some of its more nefarious objectives in the region.

The Macri government should therefore exercise due diligence on Iranian commercial activity and work with the U.S. and others to identify illicit behavior. The U.S. should use a “whole-of-government” approach to intelligence collection, mindful that Iran has used both commercial and cultural covers for its nefarious activities.

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