The New York Times reports: Intercepted conversations between representatives of the Iranian and Argentine governments point to a long pattern of secret negotiations to reach a deal in which Argentina would receive oil in exchange for shielding Iranian officials from charges that they orchestrated the bombing of a Jewish community center in 1994.
The transcripts were made public by an Argentine judge on Tuesday night, as part of a 289-page criminal complaint written by Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor investigating the attack. Mr. Nisman was found dead in his luxury apartment on Sunday, the night before he was to present his findings to Congress.
But the intercepted telephone conversations he described before his death outline an elaborate effort to reward Argentina for shipping food to Iran — and for seeking to derail the investigation into a terrorist attack in the Argentine capital that killed 85 people.
The deal never materialized, the complaint says, in part because Argentine officials failed to persuade Interpol to lift the arrest warrants against Iranian officials wanted in Argentina in connection with the attack.
The phone conversations are believed to have been intercepted by Argentine intelligence officials. If proved accurate, the transcripts would show a concerted effort by representatives of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government to shift suspicions away from Iran in order to gain access to Iranian markets and to ease Argentina’s energy troubles. [Continue reading…]