Argentine President Christina Kirchner, whose government was accused of covering up Iran’s involvement in a 1994 terrorist bombing by a prosecutor found dead on Sunday, says she doesn’t believe the prosecutor (Alberto Nisman) committed suicide as some of her allies have suggested.
“In Argentina, as in all places, not everything is what it appears to be, and vice versa,” Mrs. Kirchner said in a statement posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts on Thursday. “Why would he kill himself when he, as a prosecutor, and his family had an excellent quality of life?”
An investigator looking into Nisman’s case has said he shot himself in the head, an assertion that’s been widely questioned given the timing of his death.
The New York Times has an update on some of the evidence compiled by Nisman, who believed that Kirchner’s government helped cover up Iran’s complicity in the 1994 bombing, which killed 85, of a Buenos Aires Jewish center. Nisman alleged that the cover-up was part of an effort to gain access to Iranian oil. (Kirchner’s government has denied the allegations.) From the Times:
[Nisman] said the effort seemed to begin with a secret meeting in Aleppo, Syria, in January 2011 between Héctor Timerman, Argentina’s foreign minister, and Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s former foreign minister.
At the meeting, the complaint contends, Mr. Timerman informed his Iranian counterpart that Argentina was no longer interested in supporting the investigation into Iran’s possible role in the attack. Instead, Argentina initiated steps toward a détente, with an eye on improving trade between the two countries.
According to Nisman’s account these negotiations ultimately failed, the Times writes, “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.”