Argentine prosecutor accuses Iran of establishing terror network in Latin America
On May 29, Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who investigated the 1994 AMIA bombing, issued a 500-page indictment that accused Iran of establishing terror networks throughout Latin America since the 1980s. The Iranian regime infiltrated "several South American countries by building local clandestine intelligence stations designed to sponsor, foster and execute terrorist attacks, within the principles to export the Islamic revolution," a two-page summary of the report obtained by The Long War Journal stated.
In a 31-page summary report obtained by The Long War Journal, Nisman said that Iran's "clandestine intelligence stations and operative agents ... are used to execute terrorist attacks when the Iranian regime decides so, both directly or through its proxy, the terrorist organization Hezbollah." Nisman also warned that Iran could seek to use sleeper cells. While presenting the indictment on May 29, Nisman reportedly said that members of the sleeper cells "[s]ometimes ... die having never received the order to attack."
Iran has set up intelligence bases in a number of South American countries, according to Nisman, including, but not limited to: Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname. Nisman, the summary stated, plans to send his indictment "to the pertinent judicial authorities" in the various countries. A copy of the indictment is also being sent to US authorities.
In addition to revealing the extent of Iran's infiltration in South America, Nisman reportedly succeeded "to corroborate and strengthen with new evidence" that shows that the Iranian regime was responsible for the AMIA bombing in 1994, which killed 85 people. According to Nisman, the terror attack was "not an isolated incident," but rather must "be investigated and understood as a segment in a larger sequence."
Nisman charges that this "larger sequence" can be seen from the comments of former IRGC commander, Javad Mansouri, during a conference in 1982 in Tehran. During that conference, which Nisman contends was the "turning point for the regime's method to export the [Islamic] Revolution," Mansouri declared, "Our revolution can only be exported with grenades and explosives." According to Nisman, "it was concluded [during the conference] that the regime would use violence and terrorism to reach its expansionist objectives. And that is why Javad Mansouri called to turn each Iranian embassy into an intelligence center and a base to export the revolution."
With regard to the AMIA bombing, Nisman said that Samuel Salman el Reda, who is wanted by Argentine authorities in connection with the terror attack, "used a false Colombian identity and citizenship to enter Argentina several years before" the attack. According to Nisman, el Reda receives "cover and protection in Lebanon" from Hezbollah today.
Nisman also said that "front companies" enabled those behind the AMIA bombing to carry out the attack. Such activities continue, Nisman asserted. "The repetition of violent actions is not a coincidence. It is the manifestation of a radical policy which is characterized by the dual use of diplomatic offices, cultural or charity associations and even mosques, as coverage to hide illegal activities," the summary of the indictment stated.
Besides shedding light on Iran's intelligence operations and its ties to the AMIA terror attack, Nisman also revealed details on how Abdul Kadir, "the most important Iranian agent" in Guyana, who was convicted in 2010 in a plot to bomb John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, was led by Mohsen Rabbani, Iran's former cultural attache in Buenos Aires.
During his trial, prosecutors charged that Kadir had "repeatedly communicated" with Rabbani, who is wanted in connection with the AMIA bombing. Kadir, during cross-examination, admitted that he had previously "drafted reports about Guyana's economy, foreign policy and military for the Iranian ambassador to Venezuela [Morteza Tavasoli], which included details like the low morale in the army," the New York Times reported.
There were "common patterns between the activities performed by Kadir in Guyana and those developed by Rabbani in Argentina," according to Nisman. "It became evident that in the Caribbean nation had been settled the same Iranian intelligence infiltration system as it was in Argentina, consisting of many stages, interactive and complex links," the summary continued.