Having Helped to Cover Up an Anti-Semitic Massacre, Cristina Kirchner Is Now Back in Power https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/politics-current-affairs/2019/12/having-helped-to-cover-up-an-anti-semitic-massacre-cristina-kirchner-is-now-back-in-power/

December 26, 2019 | Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz
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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 on NBC: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/argentina-s-new-leadership-carries-old-baggage-corruption-conspiracy-allegations-ncna1103556

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