I've had the following from a reader in Buenos Aires, who has given me permission to post it here:
In three earlier posts at normblog, Eamonn McDonagh reported on allegations that the government of Argentina was holding secret talks with Iran aimed at brushing the AMIA massacre under the carpet and finding a formula to allow normal relations to be resumed between the two countries, relations that had become slightly strained because of Argentina's half-hearted attempts to have those suspected of responsibility for the mass murder of Argentine citizens extradited from the Islamic Republic. On Sunday a barrage of tweets and a note on Facebook from President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner confirmed that the allegations made in 2011 were essentially correct. She announced the setting up of a joint Argentine-Iranian commission comprised of jurists from both nations (and with the participation of some others from third countries) to 'examine the documents presented' by Argentina and Iran. The proceedings of the Commission are to be held in Tehran, naturally.
The document also states that the Argentine court that is seeking the extradition of the Iranian fugitives will be able to question the suspects in Tehran. It's not clear how this is supposed to fit in with the workings of the Commission and readers of this blog will need no reminding of the intrinsically grotesque nature of the proposal. The Commission is supposed to draw up a report which the parties bind themselves to 'take into account'.
The agreement represents a quite astonishing cession of sovereignty by the government of Argentina. It has effectively turned its back on the work of its own courts and invited the nation that has protected from extradition those suspected of murdering dozens of Argentine citizens to stand in judgment on the work of its legal system. The reaction in the Iranian state media indicates that the regime there sees the agreement as involving Argentina's abandonment of its extradition request, indeed of its abandonment of any accusation of Iranian involvement and its commitment to jointly investigate the murders with Tehran ab initio. No doubt the Iranian authorities will use the hearings to further ventilate their well-known views on who really runs the world.
To grasp the nature of what has been agreed readers may wish to imagine the United States setting up a joint commission with the Taliban to investigate the 9/11 attacks, with all its work to be carried out under Taliban supervision in Kabul.
The man chiefly responsible for negotiating this agreement is Héctor Timerman, Argentina's Foreign Minister. Since its announcement one of his principal occupations has been to condemn Israel for criticizing it. Israel, he says, should respect Argentina's sovereignty. Timerman is Jewish, as are some other prominent members and supporters of the government. In the minds of some, this means that no question of anti-Semitism can arise with regard to its dealings with Iran. Other interpretations of their role are possible.
The government of Argentina has prosecuted and jailed some of those responsible for the deaths of Jewish Argentines (among many others) during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship and it was right to do so. Their murders can be inscribed in the discourse of a failed national revolutionary process that the present administration likes to recall as heroic. By contrast, those Jewish Argentines who died in the explosion that took place at the AMIA community center in Buenos Aires on the morning of July 18th 1994 were murdered for the sole and only reason of their Jewishness and, therefore, in the eyes of the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, they constitute no more than an impediment to improving relations with Iran and to an opportunity to give life to certain fantasies about Argentina's leading role in world affairs. You can find the names of the dead here.
See also here.