1. In the previous post in this series I told of a report that Argentina had entered into secret negotiations with Iran aimed at turning the page on the 1994 AMIA massacre in Buenos Aires, an atrocity the Argentine courts have accused agents of the Islamic republic of being responsible for.
2. The report was not convincingly denied at the time, and there is now more reason to believe that it was substantially accurate. The day before the ceremonies to mark the 17th anniversary of the destruction by a truck bomb of Argentina's largest community centre came an offer by the Iranian regime to enter into a dialogue with Argentina to solve the crime. The reported offer made no mention of extraditing the fugitives wanted by the Argentine courts; indeed it openly mocks Argentina's attempts to bring the mass killers to justice. Héctor Timerman, Argentina's Foreign Minister, reacted to the Iranian statement by describing it as 'unprecedented' and 'very positive'.
3. As Pepe Eliaschev - the journalist responsible for breaking the original story of the secret negotiations with Iran - reminds us in this column, the government of Argentina has never denied that in January this year Foreign Minister Timerman left the official delegation accompanying President Fernández de Kirchner on an official tour of the Middle East to hold a meeting with President Bashar al Assad in the Syrian city of Aleppo, nor that he met Iran's Foreign Minister during the same visit.
4. In the light of the initial revelations in March and Timerman's delighted response to Iran's offer of 'dialogue' last week, it seems hard to doubt that the government of Argentina, a government which constantly makes public reference to its commitment to human rights, is negotiating with the Iranian regime to sweep the bodies of the AMIA dead, the bulk of them Jews, under the carpet, and that these negotiations were entered into with the assistance of the government of Syria.
5. A graceful public formula will, of course, have to be found to do this. The formula will have to be acceptable to the official representatives of Argentina's Jewish community and prominent foreign Jewish bodies like the AJC. That may prove surprisingly easy as these bodies have cheerfully lapped up all the Argentine government's previous bromides about its desire to see justice done.
6. I conclude with some pure speculation. If Argentina and Iran do enter into some kind of public dialogue about the case, it will include solemn consideration of a hypothesis beloved of many of the Argentine government's supporters; that the bomb that exploded in the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires on July 18th 1994 and that killed 85 people and injured hundreds was in fact planted by agents of Israel. (Eamonn McDonagh)