A few days ago, it was widely reported that an Argentinian prosecutor had claimed that Iran's president-elect Rowhani was involved in the secret plans to bomb the AMIA Jewish cultural center in Argentina in 1994. There are now more recent reports that say the opposite: that the prosecutor has claimed that Rowhani was *not* involved in the bombing, thus contradicting earlier reports.
Of course, the media are making a big deal out of what the prosecutor alleges are Iran's ties to the event and are reporting his allegations as established fact, despite the years of accumulated contradictions of any Iranian involement in the bombing, but there are reports that the actual indictment issued by this same prosecutor *does* indeed implicate Rowhani. If that's true -- and I have not seen the indictment so I don't know -- the question is what the heck is going on?
The situation is comedically confusing and self-contradictory, as is everything associated with the investigation of the bombing, which was corrupt from the very start.
It is interesting to note that president-elect Ahmadinejad was also the subject of similar smears in the US media, starting almost the day after his first election victory was announced; smears that consisted of claims that he was one of the US Embassy hostage-takers. Even though the CIA later concluded otherwise, and other US embassy hostage-takers verified that he had no role in the event (he had reportedly even suggested attacking the Russian embassy instead) that rumor still persists.
The point, of course, is not whether Ahmadinejad was really a hostage-taker or not, nor is it whether Rowhani was involved in the Argentina bombing or not. Rather, the point of the smear campaign is to try to pre-emptively discredit any newly-elected Iranian president so as it make it harder for any potential US-Iran breakthrough to occur under the new president. After all, Khatami's election and his outreach to the US caught the pro-Israeli lobby and Iran hawks off-guard, and they had to scurry to get the meme out in the media that Iranian presidents are just powerless nobodies who should be ignored. That changed, of course, once Ahmadinejad came around, and his every utterance was presented as proof of the coming Iranian-inspired Apocalypse. Ahmadinejad's rhetoric was too good and useful for these Iran hawks to allow it to be dismissed as the words of a powerless nobody, after all.
So now that Rowhani is the president-elect, it is only natural that the same pre-emptive smearing be applied to him...which makes it all the more interesting that there has been a hamfisted effort to re-call the smear campaign and "undo" it. I wonder what's going on behind the scenes that we're witnessing such contradictions?Back to the reporting about the Argetinian's prosecutor's claims: The media made a big deal that the names of some Iranian official have been placed on the Interpol Red Notice list, as if that proves something. Keep in mind, however, that placing people's names on the Interpol Red Notice list is hardly determinative of anything. Interpol is not an independent police organization, it is simply a representative association of national police forces which cooperate with each other at the international level. So there is no real independent judgment exercised by Interpol in placing names on the Red Notice list. In fact the names of several Iranians had been placed on that same list before, with allegations of involvment in the bombings in Argentina, only to have the names later removed amid some criticism about politicization and the misuse of procedure involved in getting the names there in the first place.
Second, the indictment is itself is not proof of anything either. I have heard that it relies heavily on a witness names Mesbahi,aka Manuchehr Motamar, aka Witness C and many other names, who has made a carreer out of implicating Iran in various misdeeds around the world, from the assassinations of Kurdish separatist leaders at Mykonos (which he later retracted) to the Lockerbie bombing, and has since been widely discredited, even by the Argentinians themselves
Third, the political nature of the Argentinian's prosecutor's allegations are just laughably obvious to anyone who as followed the storyline. The obvious pressure by the US and Israel on the Argentinians to finger Iran and end commercial relations (which included nuclear cooperation) was fantastically transparent. Heck even the Argentinian Jewish community leaders themselves don't believe the official claims of Iranian complicity.
And lets also not forget that Iran's former Ambassador to Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour, was later arrested in the UK based on an Argentinian extradition request which was tossed out because the Argentinians failed -- twice -- to present the minimal evidence of any connection between him and the bombings to justify the extradition, so the Brits released Soleimanpour.