Argentine justice ruled on Thursday April 11 that the attacks against the Israeli embassy in 1992 and the premises of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in 1994 in Buenos Aires had been sponsored by Iran, in a decision judged “historic” by the local Jewish community, according to press and judicial sources. The 1992 attack left 29 dead and the 1994 attack left 85 dead, the worst in the country’s history.

The decision of the Federal Chamber of Criminal Cassation also names the Shiite movement Hezbollah as the perpetrator of the attack, declares Iran a “terrorist state” and describes the attack against AMIA as a “crime against humanity”.

“Hezbollah carried out an operation that responded to a political, ideological, revolutionary purpose and under the mandate of a government, of a state,” Judge Carlos told Radio Con Vos, referring to Iran. Mahiques, one of the three magistrates who made the decision.

A “historic” judgment

The judges’ pronouncement comes as part of a procedure parallel to the attacks themselves, following appeals for convictions for obstructing the investigation, on the part of a judge and a former intelligence chief.

The judges nevertheless established that the motivation for the two attacks, although multiple, responded to the foreign policy of the Peronist (liberal) president of the time, Carlos Menem (1989-1999).

“They have their origins mainly in the unilateral decision of the government, motivated by a change in the foreign policy of our country between the end of 1991 and mid-1992, to cancel three contracts for the supply of nuclear material and technology concluded with the Iran,” writes a parallel judgment, consulted by Agence France-Presse, which reviews irregularities committed during the investigation.

The judgment “is historic, unique in Argentina, we owed it not only to Argentina: we owed it to the victims,” said Jorge Knoblovitz, president of the delegation of Argentine Jewish associations, on LN television. In addition, it “opens the possibility of a complaint to the International Criminal Court because it has been clearly established that the Iranian state is a terrorist state,” he added.