20 years from the Israel`s Embassy attack in Buenos Aires, which anniversary will be commemorated this week, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, remembered the terrible strike in dialogue with the Jewish News Agency, and said it is necessary to learn the lesson from what happened and raise the voices against terrorism. “We must join Argentina and all the countries to stop with the Iranian threat. We can do it only if we gather all of our resources”, he said.
AJN Exclusive. Danny Ayalon: “We must join Argentina and all the countries to stop with the Iranian terrorism”
On March 17Th 1992 a powerful bomb exploded after noon in the Israel´s Embassy door. The brutal attack was the first of its kind in the region, killed 29 people and left hundreds of wounded.
Q: When the Israel´s Embassy attack happened in Buenos Aires 20 years ago nobody new the Iranian terrorism. However, today they do. ¿What do you think about this change?
A: Of course we were all in shock with this terror attack because it wasn’t only against Israel, but against Argentina and innocent people. Two years later the AMIA attack occurred and nowadays we are sure that the perpetrators were the Iranians and their allies. Unfortunately, Iran is still trying to assassinate Israeli diplomats and innocent people, even after 20 years. They tried to do it New Delhi and Bangkok a few weeks ago.
Q: ¿How do you think the terrorism can be fought?
A: We must learn the lesson and raise the voices against terror, especially the Iranian one. We can only do so if we gather all of our resources. We have to join Argentina and all the other countries. I think that both attacks in the argentinian soil, specially in the capital, created a special bond between Israel and Argentina.
Q: ¿What do you think of those Latin American countries that allow the Iranian penetration in the region?
A: I think that not only do they have an irresponsible attitude, but also a morally incorrect and strategically dangerous one for the latin american continent. Unfortunately, Iran’s entrance to Latin America today is Caracas with Hugo Chavez.
Q: ¿How would you qualify Israel and Argentina´s relationship?
A: I think they are very good. We are two important democracies that believe in the freedoms, in the human rights, in the civil rights, in the power of justice and the freedom of the press. There is much that connects us. I also think that when we have to meet challenges in the future, of security, water resources, renewable energy or scientific knowledge, both countries complement and we can do a lot to the benefit of both peoples and of the world. I believe that what connects us in a very special way is the argentinian Jewish community that has created a great bridge of friendship and alliance.
Q: Every year the president Cristina Fernández asks the United Nation`s General Assembly the extradition of the Iranians suspected of having participated in the AMIA attack. ¿What is Israel´s opinion about this request?
A: Of course we support it. It is very important, not only for justice, that must be achieved, but also to the terrorists, so that they know that they will never get away with this crime.
Q: Last year, the Argentinean leader recognized the Palestinian State in front of the United Nations, which caused discomfort among the country´s jewish community. ¿What is Israel´s view about these Argentinian politics?
A: I think there are some misunderstandings because of the great geographic distance. There is a lack of knowledge about the natures´conflict with the Palestinians, which is not territorial, because this was arranged a long time ago. We created the Palestinian Authority and left Gaza, we offered big concessions during Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert´s presidencies. The conflict is ideological and their true wish is not to live beside us, but instead of us. If people understood this it would be easier to reach peace because the pressure would be on the Palestinians. We see their incitation in textbooks and in their schools.
Q: During the last weeks there have been international attempts to make Iran stop its nuclear activities, the ones Israel suspects they have military purposes. ¿How have this affected the world?
A: The Iranian nuclear threat today is obvious to everyone. The IAEA wrote a report in November and outlined the dangers of the Iranian atomic activity. Today there is no doubt that Iran is very dangerous. It is cheating everyone and it is trying to get nuclear weapons. Besides, they are very radical ideologically and very irresponsible and dangerous to support terror. It is important to know that Iran is a danger to everyone, to the international community, to the Middle East, to Europe, to America and to Africa. That´s why we must join our efforts to stop the Islamic Republic. They can be stopped because they are vulnerable economically, politically and socially.
Q: ¿How does the Israeli people live with the Iranian threat?
A: They understand. Israel is in a unique position because Iran has made many specific threats to destroy our state. That´s why we are very alert, we have the abilities to defend ourselves and we are determined to do so if it is necessary.
Q: Israel has said that one of the options to stop the Iranian program is to carry out a military attack. In case it decided to do so, ¿would it have to ask for United States permission?
A: No. The relationship between both countries is of mutual respect, friendship and alliance, it is natural. It is based on a common history of shared values and on a great cooperation in many fields. Israel is a great ally of the US, of course it is consulting with them and we will continue to work together. Both countries share the goal to stop Iran from being nuclear and I think Iran will make it.