Having Helped to Cover Up an Anti-Semitic Massacre, Cristina Kirchner Is Now Back in Power

Earlier this month, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who had served as president of Argentina from 2007 to 2015, was sworn in as the country’s vice-president—an office that will likely protect her from prosecution for various charges of corruption. Some of these charges relate to her government’s attempts to help Iran avoid repercussions for its role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, in exchange for access to oil and economic support. Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz write:

On January 18, 2015, the day before the special prosecutor for the AMIA investigation, Alberto Nisman, was due to present his findings of Kirchner’s alleged cover-up to the Argentine congress, he was found brutally murdered in his apartment. . . . The charges against Kirchner for this episode included “treason against the homeland,” punishable by up to 25 years in prison. But there is now serious doubt that the case will go to trial.

When [the former president Mauricio] Macri originally took over from [Kirchner] at the end of 2015, he sought to improve . . . relations with the West by strengthening intelligence ties and voiding the memorandum of understanding [Kirchner had concluded] with Iran. It had called for a joint Iranian-Argentine investigation of the Jewish-center bombing—despite the fact that Nisman had provided evidence that it was Iran’s most senior officials who planned and ordered the attack.

Macri also went a step further by launching a proper investigation into Nisman’s death, one that determined the prosecutor was in fact assassinated for investigating the AMIA bombing (and didn’t commit suicide, as Kirchner’s government was initially quick to claim after his body was discovered). On July 18, 2019, the 25th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, Macri’s government formally declared Hizballah—which had executed the bombing as Iran’s proxy—a terrorist entity.

Despite reports that it was considering reversing this decision, the new government has decided not to. Still, note Dubowitz and Dershowitz, “the message has been sent that Hizballah can likely count on weak, if any, enforcement against its activities in the region.” But there is a sliver of good news: Buenos Aires is eager for American economic support, which gives Washington leverage that can be used to pry it away from Tehran.

Read more at NBC

More about: Alberto Nisman, AMIA bombing, Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, Hizballah, Iran

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy