BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – Iran financed the 2007 campaign of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in exchange for impunity for Iranians in the AMIA bombing, a Brazilian magazine reported. According to Veja on Saturday, March 14, the deal brokered by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, also provided the Iranians with nuclear know-how.
“I need you to broker with Argentina for aid to my country’s nuclear program,” Iran’s then-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told Chavez on Jan. 13, 2007, according to the testimony of three former Chavez Cabinet members who now live in the United States and are collaborating in the investigation by Argentina. “We need Argentinians to share their knowledge on nuclear technology; without this collaboration it is impossible to advance our program.” Ahmadinejad added, “I have another issue. I need you to discourage the Argentinians from insisting that Interpol capture the authorities of my country.” Chavez agreed.
Six Iranians have been on the Interpol international police agency’s most wanted list since 2007 in connection with the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured hundreds.
The revelation backed the accusation made in January by the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who claimed that Kirchner decided to “not incriminate” former senior officials of Iran and tried to “erase” their roles in planning the bombing, but added that the agreement started in 2007 in Venezuela. Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the AMIA attack and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah of carrying it out, but no arrests have been made in the case. Kirchner and Chavez have denied the allegations.