Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Who Killed Alberto Nisman?

| January 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01


It’s hard to know who had most to gain—and the least to lose—from the death of Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman. I’d say it’s Iran.

Nisman was scheduled to testify last week to the Argentine Congress about his investigation into the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center that killed 85. In 2006 he indicted seven Iranians and one Lebanese-born member of Hezbollah for the crime. None have been captured, though the Lebanese suspect was killed in 2008 in Syria.

Earlier this month Nisman filed a criminal complaint in an Argentine court, alleging that President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman had crafted a secret agreement with Iran to let the terrorists off the hook in exchange for Iranian oil largess and Iranian purchases of Argentine grain.

Nisman claimed he had a solid case against la presidenta and her alleged co-conspirators, and he released a summary of a 300-page report on his ... Read More

Death of prosecutor shakes faith in president, government institutions in Argentina

| January 26th, 2015 | No Comments »

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina –  Faced with one of the biggest crises of her presidency, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has given her countrymen a confusing and sometimes contradictory view of how her most damaging accuser was found dead, at first seeming to accept the idea of suicide and later describing it as an elaborate murder plot to undermine her government.

Fernandez’s response to what reads like a whodunit movie script — prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead with a bullet in his head hours before he was set to elaborate on explosive allegations against Fernandez — has deepened a political crisis with wide implications for the last year of her presidency and perhaps even for the future of the country beyond that.

For the first time in her presidency, Fernandez appears to have lost control.

“It’s possibly the most difficult moment politically that (the ruling party) ... Read More

Argentina: The strange death of Alberto Nisman

| January 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »
Financial Times

By Benedict Mander and John Paul Rathbone

Last Saturday, Alberto Nisman sent a playful photograph to a friend of his desk strewn with papers and fluorescent highlighters — a sign of the Argentine prosecutor’s diligent preparations for a congressional hearing that promised to be the highlight of his career.

Three days earlier, the 51-year-old had formally accused Cristina Fernández, the Argentine president, of trying to cover up Iran’s alleged role in Argentina’s worst ever terrorist attack: the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. Nisman was due to present his case, the fruit of a decade of painstaking investigations, on Monday.

On Sunday night, however, just hours before the hearing, Nisman was dead. His mother, with the help of a locksmith, forced her way into his apartment and found him lying in a pool of blood beside a .22 calibre pistol and a casing in the bathroom ... Read More

Argentine Phone Calls Detail Efforts to Shield Iran

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times


BUENOS AIRES — 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 ... Read More

Argentina Court Publishes Late Prosecutor’s Full Accusations Against President Kirchner

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
International Business Times

By Brianna Lee

Suspicions are still abounding in Argentina over the shocking death of federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found shot in the head in his home this week just hours before he was due to present evidence behind blistering accusations against President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Those accusations are now public in the form of a nearly 300-page tome, and Argentines are scouring the pages to detect any hints of a link between the document and his tragic demise.

Nisman had spent the past decade investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s worst terrorist attack in history — and the greatest murder of Jewish civilians anywhere since World War II — that resulted in 85 deaths and 300 injuries. No one was ever convicted of the crime. The prosecutor, who said he collected a wealth of information through wiretaps of secret conversations, was ... Read More

Cristina Kirchner, sobre la muerte del fiscal Alberto Nisman: “El suicidio (que estoy convencida) no fue suicidio”

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
La Nacion

La presidenta  Cristina Kirchner puso en duda esta mañana que el fiscal  Alberto Nisman,que la denunció por encubrimiento a Irán en la causa AMIA , se haya suicidado, pidió “mucha protección” para  Diego Lagomarsino, el asistente que le entregó el arma al funcionario, y reclamó que se investigue a la custodia.

“Los interrogantes que se convierten en certeza. El suicidio (que estoy convencida) no fue suicidio”, sostiene Kirchner en una nueva carta publicada esta mañana mediante la red social Twitter, donde advierte que al fiscal fallecido le proporcionaron datos falsos para la denuncia de encubrimiento.

La Presidenta pidió “mucha protección al Sr. Lagomarsino”, el colaborador de Nisman que le llevó el arma calibre 22 con el que se habría disparado y sostuvo que “resulta muy conveniente que se ordenen sumarios e investigaciones lo más rápidamente posible” sobre los policías federales que custodiaban a Nisman.

En fragmentos previos a la extensa carta, Cristina Kirchner había afirmado que “a esta altura los interrogantes que planteaba ... Read More

Cristina Kirchner: “Estoy convencida de que no fue suicidio”

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »

Cristina Kirchner volvió a elegir las redes sociales  para referirse a la muerte del fiscal Alberto Nisman. Desde su cuenta oficial de Twitter, la Presidenta remitió esta mañana a una nota, escrita en primera persona, en la que tira por la borda la -hasta ahora- versión oficial de los hechos: “Estoy convencida que no fue suicidio”, asegura.

“Los espías que no eran espías. Los interrogantes que se convierten en certeza.  El suicidio (que estoy convencida) no fue suicidio.”, con estas líneas Cristina dio por tierra hace instantes con la principal hipótesis sobre la muerte del fiscal.

El marcado giro en el discurso oficial experimentado en las últimas horas -cuando los funcionarios dejaron de atacar la actuación del fiscal en la denuncia contra la Presidenta por presunto encubrimiento del atentado a la AMIA y comenzaron a instalar que Nisman fue víctima de una operación-, se ve reforzado por las propias palabras de Cristina ... Read More

Argentina’s Fernandez says death of prosecutor was not suicide

| January 22nd, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters

By Hugh Bronstein

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The death of a prosecutor investigating the bombing of a Jewish community center was not a suicide, as was initially reported, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said on Thursday.

Alberto Nisman, lead investigator into the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people, was found dead in his apartment late Sunday, a 22 caliber pistol by his side.

He had accused Fernandez of trying to derail his investigation into the bombing and was due to present his case to Congress hours later on Monday.

The government says two key witnesses in Nisman’s case against the president had been falsely presented to him as state intelligence agents.

Fernandez said the deception discredited Nisman’s charges against her and points to a conspiracy to smear her name.

“They used him while he was alive and then ... Read More

Gobierno de Venezuela habría emitido visas fraudulentas para terroristas de Hezbollah

| January 21st, 2015 | No Comments »

Venezuela ha sido un pilar clave en la penetración irregular de inmigrantes iraníes e islámicos en el continente americano, según se desprende un informe elaborado por el Centro para una Sociedad Libre Segura (SFS), un think thank global basado en Washington DC, y el Instituto de Canadá de Análisis Social y Económico (ISEA), al que tuvo acceso Infobae.

El estudio sugiere que las facilidades que Venezuela –y también Cuba– ofrecen a los extremistas islámicos son una amenaza para la seguridad en Norteamérica. Recuerda, en ese sentido, que en 2006 las fuerzas de seguridad canadienses detuvieron a 18 terroristas que planeaban una serie de atentados, que incluían la decapitación del primer ministro Stephen Harper y la detonación de una bomba en el Parlamento.

“En la medida en que Irán siga abriendo caminos estratégicos en el hemisferio occidental, la amenaza de ataques patrocinados por actores estatales es posiblemente más ... Read More

Argentina’s Murder Mystery

| January 21st, 2015 | No Comments »

By Mac Margolis

Alberto Nisman had a reputation as an independent and fearless prosecutor. That’s one reason why in 2004 President Nestor Kirchner assigned him to look into the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people, but the investigation into the case had been languishing in the courts ever since.

Nisman was found Sunday night lying on the floor of his bathroom, a single .22-caliber bullet wound to the head and a small Bersa revolver by his side.

The mysterious death — no suicide note, no gunpowder traces on his hands, apparently no witnesses — shook the nation. This was a national tragedy compounding another. What happens next will determine if it will also be a travesty.

What’s clear is that Nisman died in his 13th-floor apartment in Puerto Madero, an upscale Buenos Aires neighborhood.

What’s murky ... Read More

A Troubling Death in Argentina

| January 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was set to deliver proof to the Argentine Congress Monday of an alleged cover-up by President Cristina Kirchner of Iran’s responsibility in the 1994 terrorist attack on a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. Hours before the hearing, Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment.

Argentine security officials said a .22 caliber pistol and one shell were found near the body. Within hours the government’s secretary of security declared Nisman’s death an apparent suicide. The coroner hasn’t made a final ruling but the timing of his death is cause for suspicion. Last week he filed a criminal complaint alleging that Mrs. Kirchner and foreign minister Hector Timerman conspired to bury the truth about the bombing of the Jewish center, which killed 85, in exchange for deals to sell food to Tehran and buy its oil.

Known for his independence, Nisman claimed in a summary of a report released ... Read More

Puzzling Death of a Prosecutor Grips Argentina

| January 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
The New York Times


BUENOS AIRES — Police sentries guarded the federal prosecutor’s luxury high-rise building. His door on the 13th floor had been locked from the inside, and a gun with a spent cartridge was found on the floor near his body. There was no suicide note.

Just one day earlier, on Saturday, the prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, said, “I might get out of this dead.”

From the moment 10 years ago when he was assigned to investigate the 1994 suicide bombing of a Jewish center here that left 85 people dead, Mr. Nisman, an even-keeled lawyer, became entangled in a labyrinthine plot that he traced to Iran and its militant Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.

But it was only in the past week that Mr. Nisman, 51, leveled explosive accusations that top Argentine officials, including President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had conspired with ... Read More

Argentina: A tragic turn to a sensational terror investigation will have political implications

| January 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Economist

LAST week Alberto Nisman, a federal prosecutor, made national and international headlines when he accused Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of attempting to cover up Iran’s involvement in the country’s deadliest-ever terrorist attack. Late on January 18th he was found dead in his bathroom with a gun by his side. Whatever its cause, this tragic turn to a sensational case will have big political implications.

Mr Nisman (pictured) was the chief investigator of the 1994 bombing of AMIA, a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, which killed 86 people (including the terrorist) and injured hundreds. In a 300-page document filed with a court on January 14th he alleged that Ms Fernández, the foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, and others had opened up backchannel negotiations with Iran, whose officials are suspected of organising the attack. The idea was to reach an agreement clearing the Iranian suspects in return for ... Read More

Hallan muerto al fiscal que denunció a la presidenta Kirchner por encubrir a Irán

| January 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
ABC Madrid-01

El fiscal argentino Alberto Nisman, que denunció a la presidenta Cristina Fernández por presunto encubrimiento de Irán en un atentado contra una mutual judía, ha sido hallado muerto en su vivienda de Buenos Aires en circunstancias aún por aclarar, informaron fuentes judiciales.

Nisman, el fiscal de la causa por el atentado con la mutual judía AMIA, fue hallado muerto en su departamento del barrio porteño de Puerto Madero, según confirmaron fuentes judiciales a medios locales. Según medios locales, el cadáver fue hallado en el baño de su departamento con un disparo en la cabeza.

El cuerpo de Nisman fue descubierto apenas unas horas antes de su comparecencia prevista para este lunes ante el Congreso para detallar la denuncia que alcanza a Fernández y a varios de sus colaboradores. Nisman les acusaba de haber organizado una operación destinada a encubrir la responsabilidad de Irán en el ataque terrorista contra la institución israelí AMIA ocurrido ... Read More

Argentine prosecutor who accused Kirchner found dead

| January 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
From AFP

By Paula Bustamente

Buenos Aires (AFP) – An Argentine prosecutor found dead just hours before giving what was expected to be damning testimony against President Cristina Kirchner appears to have committed suicide, the nation’s top security official said Monday.

“All signs point to suicide,” said Argentine Security Secretary Sergio Berni following the death of Alberto Nisman, 51, whose body was found overnight in his apartment in the trendy Puerto Madero neighborhood of the capital.

Nisman, who had accused President Cristina Kirchner of obstructing a probe into a 1994 Jewish center bombing, was found dead of a gunshot wound just hours before he was due to testify at a congressional hearing.

Officials said a .22-caliber handgun was found beside his body, which was discovered by his mother in the bathroom of his 13th floor apartment after his security detail was unable to contact him.

Nisman ... Read More

Argentina’s Jews Reel From New Twist in Terror Probe

| January 16th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 BY TAOS TURNER

BUENOS AIRES—Argentina’s Jewish community, the largest in Latin America, was reeling on Thursday from a prosecutor’s accusation that President Christina Kirchner had conspired to cover up a probe into a 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish center.

Wednesday’s allegations, filed as a federal criminal complaint, are the latest disappointment for relatives of the 85 people who died after a car bomb blew up outside a Jewish community center, one of the worst attacks against Jews since World War II. For years, officials including President Cristina Kirchner have pointed to Iran for allegedly carrying out the bombing. But the case is still unresolved.

Alberto Nisman, a federal prosecutor who has spent a decade investigating the attack, shocked Argentina by filing the complaint, which accuses Mrs. Kirchner, her foreign minister and others of secretly negotiating a deal with Tehran to offer immunity for Iranian suspects in exchange for Iranian oil. A judge must now decide ... Read More

Venezuela’s Asia Tour Backfires as Crude Extends Slump

| January 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Pietro D. Pitts

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is winding down a tour of Asia and Russia to garner support for measures to bolster oil prices. A further 8 percent decline since the trip started suggests he failed.

Maduro plans to coordinate with OPEC and non-OPEC producers to create a “formula that impacts the oil market and restores the normalization of prices,” he said Jan. 15 after meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the lowest prices in six years threaten both nations’ economies. Crude extended declines as Maduro spoke.

Venezuelan government lobbying to prop up prices is falling on deaf ears among other OPEC members that are prepared to let prices fall to a level that undermines a U.S. shale boom. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have said repeatedly over the past six weeks that the organization wouldn’t cut output to halt the biggest rout since 2008.

“It was a surprise that he went ... Read More

Argentina’s President Kirchner Named in Criminal Complaint

| January 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By TAOS TURNER

BUENOS AIRES—A federal prosecutor in Argentina has filed a criminal complaint against President Cristina Kirchner , her foreign minister and others, accusing them of conspiring to cover up an investigation into Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in this capital city.

The prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, said on Wednesday that Mrs. Kirchner had ordered Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and others to negotiate immunity for Iranian suspects in hopes this would reestablish trade ties and allow Argentina to import Iranian oil to ease a domestic energy crisis. The alleged plan didn’t come to fruition, however.

The complaint will be evaluated by Federal Judge Ariel Lijo, who last year indicted Vice President Amado Boudou on corruption charges. It isn’t clear how that case will evolve. Mr. Boudou has denied the charges.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nisman has asked Judge Lijo to freeze $23 million of assets belonging to Mrs. Kirchner and the others ... Read More

Qatar Helps Venezuela Weather Oil Crisis

| January 13th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01


CARACAS—Venezuela will receive “several billion dollars” in financing from Qatari banks to help the beleaguered South American oil-exporter withstand the fall in crude prices, said President Nicolás Maduro from Doha on Monday.

“They’re giving us enough oxygen to cover the fall in crude prices,” he said in remarks carried on Venezuelan state television.

Mr. Maduro, who has visited Russia, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia to seek aid in recent days and traveled to Algeria late Monday, said the preliminary deal with Qatar would help Caracas meet its investment and import needs for this year and next. He didn’t name the banks nor offer more details. Qatar didn’t comment.

The president’s effort comes as the global oil benchmark settled below $50 a barrel for the first time in nearly six years on Monday and foreign currency shortages in Venezuela have sparked concerns the country could default on its debt.

The Qatar deal follows other ... Read More

Venezuela asks fellow OPEC members for help

| January 12th, 2015 | No Comments »

By Yousef Gamal El-Din

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro resumed his tour of oil producers in the Middle East on Monday, as the country seeks protection from plummeting oil prices.

The head of state visited the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where he met with the country’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz and oil minister Ali Al-Naimi. Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who is still recovering from a bout of pneumonia contracted last month, did not attend.

“We talked in-depth about important ideas for a strategy of stabilising the oil market, price recovery. An important strategy that we will coordinate,” Maduro told reporters at the end of the meeting on Sunday. “We have reached detailed agreements for a new stage of strengthening the OPEC”.

Despite the stated optimism, Maduro offered no further details and there was no comment from the Saudi side on the outcome of the deliberations. The official Saudi ... Read More

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