The 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires killed 85 people and wounded hundreds more. After interminable blundering, the Argentine government named five Iranian citizens as its prime suspects, but then made public a preposterous solution that compromises Argentinian sovereignty and ensures that those responsible will not be brought to justice. To add insult to injury, President Cristina Kirchner used her recent UN speech to criticize not Iran but Argentinian Jewry.
The reasons behind this abandonment of justice are several, writes Eamonn MacDonagh, but uniformly ugly. Among them are
the “anti-imperialist” and anti-American beliefs that are common in many strata of Argentine society, and particularly close to the hearts of some elements of the government’s political base. Those who hold such beliefs are inclined to have feelings towards the Iranian regime that range from a sneaking respect to frank admiration. Iran, they tell themselves, stands up to the arrogance of American power and is the sworn enemy of a nation which many of them regard as the acme of evil, i.e., Israel.
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