ADL Appalled by 'Dialogue' Between Argentine and Iranian Government Officials Over 1994 AMIA Terror Attack

New York, NY, October, 11, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the recent decision of the Argentine government to engage in a dialogue with Iran over its role in the devastating 1994 terror attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. ADL described the encounter between the Iranian and Argentine foreign ministers as a "sham negotiation" which will enable Iran to continue to evade being brought to justice for its role in the attack.

Argentina's foreign minister, Hector Timerman, and his Iranian counterpart, Akbar Salehi, met September 27 at United Nations headquarters to discuss the case and subsequently issued a joint statement declaring that their negotiations would continue.

In a statement, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director said:

At a time when the international community is sanctioning Iran over its nuclear aspirations, countries like Argentina, who have been direct targets of Iranian terror, should be at the forefront of isolating rather than engaging in a sham negotiation with its rogue regime.

For more than 18 years the international community has supported the Argentine government's efforts to investigate the AMIA bombing -- the deadliest terror attack in the Americas prior to 9/11. We are appalled that President Kirchner's government now appears to be turning away from pursuing justice for the victims.

These bilateral meetings only serve the interests of the Iranian perpetrators in their ongoing attempts to evade the consequences of their culpability in the attack and to bypass the Argentine justice system. There should be no dialogue with terrorists.

Eighty-five innocent Argentinians, Jews and non-Jews alike, were killed by Hezbollah operatives in the bombing, yet justice remains elusive. The attack has been designated by the Argentine justice system as crime against humanity and the prosecutor on the case has been focused on bringing the responsible Iranian masterminds to justice.

Despite INTERPOL's issuing of Red Alerts against six individuals including Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi (who visited neighboring Bolivia last year) none of the suspects have been apprehended. The Iranian regime has repeatedly denied its culpability, and has made mockery of the AMIA case by circumventing the Argentine justice system.

ADL stands by the Jewish community in Argentina by reaffirming a strong call to see justice implemented in this horrific case and believes that meetings between the Argentinian and Iranian governments only serve to legitimize Iranian claims of innocence, desecrate the memory of the victims and prolong their families' grief.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.