Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman arrived in Israel Monday for a three-day visit, a sign that relations between the two countries may be undergoing an improvement, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli-Argentinean ties have been strained since Buenos Aires and Tehran signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2013 that included a “truth commission” to jointly investigate the horrific terrorist bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina’s capital in the early 1990s that killed 114 people and wounded over 500.
Iran was suspected as having masterminded the attack.
The Argentinians, one Israeli official said, are realizing that “not a lot of good is coming out of that agreement,” and that the Iranians blocking investigation of the bombings at the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish Center building.
Another indication of warming relations was a decision by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to sell up to 18 upgraded Kfir planes to Argentina, according to Globes.
Timerman’s visit comes four months after a former Israeli envoy to Buenos Aires — Itzhak Aviran — told an Argentinean Jewish news agency that Israel killed most of the perpetrators of the bombings.
Though Israel quickly disavowed the statement as “pure fantasy,” Timerman took them at face value and said that from Avian’s statements “we can deduce the reasons why Israel has opposed the Memorandum of Understanding” with Iran.
Timerman was quoted as saying that Avian’s words were “very serious because they would imply that Israel hid information from Argentine courts, blocking new evidence from appearing.” However, the incident was allowed to die down without further comment.