Wednesday, November 07, 2007

House Passes Anti-Iran Resolution

On November 5, after only five minutes of debate and not a single member of Congress questioning or speaking in opposition, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted by voice vote H. RES. 435, “Expressing concern relating to the threatening behavior of the Iranian regime and its leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the activities of terrorist organizations sponsored by that regime in Latin America.” The resolution was introduced by Rep. Rob Klein (R-FL) and had 43 co-sponsors when it came up for a vote under the suspension of the rules.

H.RES. 435 expresses concern for collaboration between Iran and Venezuela, and for Iran's growing influence in the Western Hemisphere.

Among other things, the resolution alleges:
“Whereas Iran and Hizbollah were involved in the two deadliest terrorist attacks in Argentina: the March 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 29 people and the July 1994 attack against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), which killed 85 people;

“Whereas the Government of Argentina is currently seeking legal action against the perpetrators of the 1994 AMIA terrorist attack;

However, in an article entitled “Argentina’s Iranian Nuke Connection” published last year, Gareth Porter writes that he did not find any evidence to support the indictments or any charge of Iranian responsibility or Hezbollah involvement:

“Less than three weeks after that Iranian bid for negotiations, on March 17, 2002, a bomb blast destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 26 people. Argentina, the US and Israel have long maintained that Iran was responsible for both that blast and the bombing of the AMIA headquarters in July 1994. ”But it seems unlikely that Iranian leaders would have ordered or knowingly supported any terror bombing in Buenos Aires just when they were concerned with nailing down an agreement to protect their important interests in relations with Argentina.”

He also notes: “The investigation of the 1994 bombing by the Argentine judiciary, which has no political independence from the executive branch, has had little credibility with the public, because of a bribe by the lead judge to a key witness and a pattern of deceptive accounts based on false testimony.”

Gareth is also working on a new critical analysis of this issue regarding the role of the Argentine case against the Iranians and the history of the US role in the case. I will post when it is available.

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