Israel is shocked by the signing of an agreement between Iran and Argentina Sunday to establish a truth commission in a bid to resolve the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that Argentine courts accuse Iran of sponsoring. “We warned the Argentinians only a short while ago not to fall into the trap that the Iranians will set up for them,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor. “We are stunned by this news item and we will want to receive from the Argentine government a complete picture as to what was agreed upon because this entire affair affects Israel directly.
Israel heard about the launching of the dialogue between Argentina and Iran in October from reports in the media. Despite repeated requests from Jerusalem, the Argentine government refused to update Israel on the progress of the talks. In meetings that have been held over the past few weeks between Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timerman (who is Jewish), and representatives of the country’s Jewish community, he agreed to convey only a few general details about the negotiations.
Before the first round of talks between Iran and Argentina, senior officials of Israel’s foreign ministry traveled to Buenos Aires and delivered a sternly worded message to the effect that Israel would not accept the signing of any agreement that would be at the expense of the victims. The Israeli diplomats were adamant in their demand that Argentina must insist upon the extradition of the Iranian suspects and upon the payment of compensation to the families of the victims.
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