“There is still the skeleton in the cupboard – increasing Iranian penetration and sponsorship of Hezbollah sleepers and Jihadist recruitment across the region.”

Buenos Aires, 22 September 2015

Following the 9 August primaries, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, and Latin American Representative Dr. Ariel Gelblung, addressed four questions to the six remaining Argentine Presidential candidates.

The Left Front outsider declined to comment. The written responses of the five remaining hopefuls were summarized in the Sunday edition of La Nacion on 20 September. (see: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1829593-los-candidatos-fijaron-sus-politicas-ante-iran-y-el-caso-amia)

The two front-runners for the 25 October next round are: the current Kirchner administration official, Daniel Scioli, and his opposition rival, Buenos Aires Mayor, Mauricio Macri. In third place is a former Kirchner associate, Sergio Massa. The less realistic candidates, Margarita Stolbizer and Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, may be coopted into the next government.

The Center’s questionnaire sought these candidate’s thoughts on resolving the 1994 AMIA Jewish Centre bombing by pursuing the INTERPOL-identified Iranian suspects; the nullification of the current government’s Memorandum of Understanding with Teheran regarding the AMIA investigation; containing burgeoning antisemitism and Holocaust denial; supporting the Center in its campaign to obtain UNESCO World Heritage status for Moises Ville, the first Jewish settlement in Argentina.

“Except for the guarded responses of Scioli – the government’s candidate – there was, in general a common commitment to take firmer measures to expose the truth behind the AMIA atrocity,” stated Gelblung.

On the Iran Memorandum and the INTERPOL “red notice” arrest warrants, Scioli deferred these issues until the new government is in place. Macri and Massa relied on judicial settlement without political intervention. Rodriguez Saa suggested a multilateral approach involving Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil. Stolbizer would refer the AMIA issue to the UN Security Council,there presenting the attack as an act of Iranian aggression.

All four favoured maintaining the status quo with INTERPOL. All equally denounced antisemitism, while Scioli and Stolbizer would mandate Holocaust education in public schools.

Similarly, all were committed to state support for the Wiesenthal Centre’s objective for the Baron Hirsch first settlement, Moises Ville to receive UNESCO World Heritage status, as an example of the contribution of Jewish refugees to their host society.

“We hope to discuss these questions further with the President-Elect in late October, and especially the skeleton in the cupboard – increasing Iranian penetration and sponsorship of Hezbollah sleepers and Jihadist recruitment across the region – a subject raised by the AMIA bombing late Prosecutor, Alberto Nisman,” commented Samuels.