The former Argentinian foreign minister Hector Timerman testified in court on Tuesday under the allegations that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s administration conspired with Iran to hide the Islamic Republic’s role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
The judicial investigation is based on the complaint of the late Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman that Kirchner sought a secret deal with Iran in connection with the 1994 bombing. Nisman accused Kirchner and former foreign minister Hector Timerman, along with others in Kirchner’s administration of covering up Iran’s role in the bombing through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tehran. Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment hours before he was due to present his findings to Congress. A recent report determined that Nisman was most likely murdered.
Clarin, a major Argentinian newspaper reported that as part of his defense strategy, Timerman gave the federal judge handling the case, Judge Claudio Bonadio, a 160 page written statement in which he denied all accusations. In this document, Timerman also alleged that Nisman endorsed the MoU. This was contradicted (Spanish link) by the testimony of Nisman’s secretary, Soledad Castro, who stated that Nisman never endorsed the agreement.
According to reports, Timerman abstained (Spanish link) from mentioning Kirchner, highlighted multiple times that he never betrayed his country, and denied (Spanish link) any secret meetings in Aleppo with Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in 2012 to negotiate the agreement.
La Nacion, another well-respected Argentinian newspaper, reported that Timerman noted (Spanish link) that the MoU was signed in order to get out of the “dead end” that the AMIA case reached. Argentina has accused Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah of the attack, but even after more than 20 years, no arrests have been made and the investigation has been plagued with irregularities.
Despite previously agreeing to answer questions, a very debilitated Timerman was escorted out of court and later hospitalized. Timerman has cancer.
Timerman was the first in court as more than a dozen former Kirchner administration officials were subpoenaed to appear before Judge Bonadio. These included former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, secretary of the presidency Oscar Parrilli, and Luis D’Elia, who was part of Kirchner’s cabinet and had contact with Iranian officials. None of those called are allowed to leave the country until they have all testified.
[Photo: Televisión Pública Noticias / YouTube]