17 July 2012
On the 18th anniversary of the deadly bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, the presidents of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), Ronald S. Lauder, and the Latin American Jewish Congress (LAJC), Jack Terpins, have highlighted Iran’s suspected involvement in the 1994 terrorist attack. Lauder said it was “irritating and completely unacceptable to the international Jewish community” that the masterminds of the worst terrorist attack were still at large. On 18 July 1994, a car bomb detonated outside the AMIA center in downtown Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and wounding several hundreds.
Lauder declared: “It is now almost five years that Interpol issued Red Notices, calling for the arrest of several Iranian suspects in the case, one of them being none other than Iran’s current Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi. Tehran has so far failed to hand them over to the Argentinean judiciary. The Iranian regime has blood on its hands, not only by suppressing dissent at home but also by sponsoring terrorism world-wide.
"What the world saw 18 years ago in Buenos Aires it can still see today, be it in Syria, in Lebanon or in other places. Iran’s is one of the principal state actors when it comes to spreading hatred and violence in the world,” said the WJC president.
LAJC President Jack Terpins called for more unity among Western nations on the issue. He declared: “It is lamentable that some nations, including in Latin America, are still fostering their relationship with Iran. We urge them: think again! What happened in Buenos Aires can happen again, anywhere, and governments have a responsibility to protect all their citizens against such heinous crimes.” Terpins added: “Justice must be done if we want to avoid that such terrible acts happen again in the future.”
On the anniversary, the LAJC hosting the sixth edition of a conference of regional parliamentarians. It is attended by some 40 lawmakers from nine South American countries and focuses on the prevention of terrorism. Vice-president of Argentina Amado Boudou and former President of Uruguay Julio Sanguinetti are to address the gathering. in Buenos Aires. Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who is in charge of the AMIA investigation, will give an update on the state of the probe.
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