Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner publicly attacked the head of Buenos Aires’ Jewish community, hinting he was in contact with a “foreign espionage agency that knows of a new terror attack planned against Argentina.”
Guillermo Borger, president of the AMIA Buenos Aires Jewish center, said the Argentina-Iran agreement to set up a committee to investigate the 1994 bombing of the center “will allow a third bombing in Argentina.” In 1992 the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires was bombed.
“This pact is viewed by some people as a step forward. This may be a step to the precipice. It will allow a very unfortunate third attack,” warned Borger.
The confrontation between Borger and Fernandez came to a head on Saturday as the president took to the national television airwaves and Twitter to defend the agreement.
“I read with concern the statements made by Guillermo Borger, president of AMIA,on the deal with Iran. What do you know to make a statement so terrible?” Fernandez asked on Twitter. “If there was an attack planned related to the agreement with Iran, who is the mastermind and the material author?”
Fernandez’s remarks seemed to accuse Borger of being in contact with foreign espionage bodies who are supplying him with information, a member of the Buenos Aires Jewish community told Haaretz on Sunday.
Argentina’s Senate will be the first legislative chamber to discuss the memorandum of understanding signed Jan. 27 with Iran on the 1994 AMIA bombing, which killed 85 and wounded hundreds. Fernandez has summoned the Argentine Congress to a special session Feb. 28 on the pact, which would create a “truth commission” allowing judges to question Iran’s suspects in Tehran.
Borger now strongly objects to the agreement, yet he had expressed satisfaction with the pact following a meeting with Foreign Minister Hector Timerman at the AMIA building on Jan. 29. Other Jewish leaders and victims’ families also were in that meeting with Timerman.
When the announcement of the memorandum was made, Borger said he was opposed because “we don’t trust Iran.”
Israel and the United States have objected to meetings between Argentina and Iran, and the bilateral agreement.