Today is the 20th Anniversary of Iran’s Jewish Center Bombing in Buenos Aires

On July 18, 1994, a bombing occurred at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AIMA) building. It is considered the worst bombing to ever happen in Argentina. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.

The investigation of the bombing has been marred by stonewalling and cover-ups but many suspect that it was carried out by Hezbollah at the behest of Iranian authorities.

A 2006 report from the BBC supports this theory:

Argentine prosecutors are calling for the arrest of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani and seven others. Chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused the Iranian authorities of directing Hezbollah to carry out the attack.

Local Jewish groups have long said the bombing bore the hallmarks of Iranian-backed Islamic militants. Iran has repeatedly and vehemently denied any involvement in the attack.

The Argentine prosecutor who was investigating these charges was Alberto Nisman. Nisman ultimately implicated Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of participating in a cover-up of the investigation which would absolve Iranian authorities of any involvement.

In January of this year, Nisman was to deliver his findings to the Argentine congress in the form of a 288 page report but was found dead in his Buenos Aires home just hours before he was scheduled to appear. Bloomberg reported:

Alberto Nisman’s body was discovered by his mother and a police officer in the bathroom of his apartment last night alongside a gun and the shell of a bullet, according to a statement by the Security Ministry, which didn’t provide the cause of death. Nisman was scheduled to present evidence for his accusations against Fernandez at a lower house commission today. He was 51, according to local media.

“The autopsy has already begun,” Prosecutor Viviana Fein, who is in charge of the investigation into Nisman’s death, told reporters in Buenos Aires today. “There were no witnesses or neighbors and there was no letter.”

Nisman’s death is still under investigation but many suspect foul play.

The writer Eamonn MacDonagh has posted a series of tweets on the subject of the AIMA bombing on Storify in which he bluntly accuses the Argentine government of working with Iran to cover up the bombing, distort the investigation and of being responsible for the death of Alberto Nisman.

MacDonagh also suggests that high ranking people in Argentina stood to make considerable financial gains by working with Iran and that this is part of the reason Nisman was targeted for death.

The Buenos Aires Herald reports that the 21st anniversary of the bombing was observed on Friday:

“Today we recall the worst terrorist act suffered in our country 21 years ago. Even if it does not seem so, 21 years have passed with the longing of the entire people to find de responsible of such barbarism remaining unaccomplished. A generation has become adult living under the shadow of absence and impunity,” Ariel Cohen Sabban, the treasurer of the Israelite Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA), said as he marked the 21st anniversary of AMIA bombing.

The main ceremony to commemorate the victims on the 21st anniversary of the deadly attack began at 9.53 am when a siren rang out marking the exact time the explosion took place in the building of the AMIA Jewish community center in the Buenos Aires City neighbourhood of Balvanera, commonly known as “Once.”