BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday used the first Latin America visit by an Israeli PM to praise Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s effort to solve the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 people.
Argentine courts have blamed the attack on Iran. But no one has been brought to trial in either that case or the deadly 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Iran denies playing a role in either attack.
“We know without a doubt that Iran and Hezbollah initiated and backed up the attacks,” Netanyahu told reporters.
He praised fellow conservative Macri for jump-starting efforts to solve the crimes. Critics accuse previous Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez of trying to improve ties with Iran rather than focusing on bringing the bombers to justice.
Under Fernandez, the prosecutor probing the attack on the AMIA Jewish community center was found dead in January 2015, just hours before he was to appear in Congress to outline his accusation that Fernandez had tried to clear the way for a “grains for oil” deal with Iran by whitewashing Iran’s role in the truck bombing.
The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was discovered on the floor of his Buenos Aires apartment with a pistol by his side and a bullet in his head. The death was classified as a suicide, but Nisman’s family and friends dismissed that idea as absurd.
Macri has met with Nisman’s family and says he has made a high priority of solving his death and the AMIA bombing.