Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner

Iran Bankrolled 2007 Campaign of Argentina President: Report

Iran financed the 2007 campaign of Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner, in exchange for impunity for Iranians in the AMIA bombing, a magazine is reporting.

The Brazilian magazine Veja on Saturday reported that the deal, brokered by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, also provided the Iranians with nuclear know-how.

“I need you to broker with Argentina for aid to my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentinians to share their knowledge on nuclear technology; without this collaboration it is impossible to advance our program,’ Ahmadinejad told Chavez on Jan 13, 2007, according to the testimony of three former Chavez Cabinet members who now live in the United States and are collaborating in crime investigation.

“Don’t worry about the expenses required for this operation. Iran will support everything necessary to persuade the Argentines. I have another issue. I need you to discourage the Argentinians from insisting that Interpol capture the authorities of my country,” added the Iranian president, according to the report. Chavez agreed.

The Treasury Venezuela bought $6 billion in Argentina’s bonds to cover its debt in 2007 and 2008. The Argentine government also received cash for the agreement. One of three former Venezuelan officials said that the famous suitcase of Guido Antonioni Wilson, containing $ 800,000 which he brought into the country without claiming, came from the Iranian regime and was bound for the presidential campaign of Cristina Kirchner and that Chavez was just the middlemen.

According to Veja, the exchange of nuclear secrets was managed in Argentina by Minister of Defense Nilda Garre, now ambassador to the Organization of American States, or OAS, in Washington. Iran was interested in the Argentinean experience with its heavy-water nuclear reactor “Atucha,” because they wanted to produce plutonium for use in nuclear weapons using only natural uranium.

“I can’t say that the government of Argentina gave nuclear secrets, but I know it took a lot by legal means and illegal means in exchange for something valuable to the Iranians,” the former officials revealed to Veja in its story titled “Chavistas confirm the conspiracy denounced by Nisman.”

The revelation backed the accusation made by late prosecutor Alberto Nisman in January, when he claimed that Kirchner decided to “not incriminate” former senior officials of the Islamic Republic and tried to “erase” their roles in planning the bombing, but added that the agreement started in 2007 in Venezuela.

Argentina has accused the Iranian government of directing the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center and the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah of carrying out the attack, but no arrests have been made in the case. Six Iranians have been on the Interpol international police agency’s most wanted list since 2007 in connection with the bombing.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Iran Bankrolled 2007 Campaign of Argentina President: Report

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close