Iran, Argentina, and truth diplomacy, Tehran Times
- ----------------- Volume. 11639 On Line: 04 February 2013 11:30 In Print: Tuesday 05 February 2013Iran, Argentina, and truth diplomacyIn a world shattered by mistrust, threats, and unilateralism, Iran and Argentina have agreed todiscover the truth about the AMIA case. To this eﬀect, the foreign ministers of Iran and Argentinasigned a memorandum of understanding on January 27, 2013 calling for the establishment of aTruth Commission composed of ﬁve independent lawyers.One should not fail to appreciate theefforts made by both foreign ministers to show the world that in the midst of world turbulence it isstill possible to settle disputes between countries through understanding and just means on amutually agreed basis. Over the past 19 years, the Iranian authorities have constantly insisted thatthe truth about this case should be discovered because the original case was upheld by a corruptand partial judge. Iran not only was not afraid of the truth being discovered but was also insistingthat the entire world should know the truth about this case. Therefore, this agreement is strictly inline with the Iranian diplomatic position.This is why the MOU states that the commissioners “should conduct a thorough review of theevidence related to each accused person” (Article 3). The commissioners, after having reviewedthe evidence, “will express views and issue a report” also containing recommendations in the“framework of laws and regulations of both parties” (Article 4). We hope that through this report,light will be shed on the dark aspects of this case and we will ﬁnally ﬁnd out who was reallybehind this terrorist attack, or at least understand against whom false accusations were madewithout any hard evidence for all these years.If independent lawyers discover the truth, it would beneﬁt Argentina, too, because knowing thetruth is the prerequisite for justice and ﬁnding out that the investigation was following wrong leadswould help to ﬁnally put the course of justice back on the right track. Argentina also mayunderstand that in such cases, one should ﬁrst look into his own house for clues.The MOU also provides the possibility of questioning the accused persons at a meeting that willbe held in Tehran with the participation of Iranian and Argentine judicial authorities, with thecommissioners also present (Article 5). Some commentators have raised the concern that theexecutive power may have exceeded its limits and interfered with judicial issues by agreeing onthis issue or that somehow this act may violate the rights of individuals.For several reasons, we don’t believe that the law or the rights of individuals have been violated.First of all, if the report shows -- and we are sure it will -- a lack of evidence for the accusationsagainst innocent persons, they should be compensated, and by virtue of the MOU there is no needanymore for questioning these people because both countries have agreed that “they will take intoaccount the recommendations [of the commissioners] in their future actions” (Article 4).This meeting cannot be held until the report of the commission is issued.Secondly, as the meetingwill take place in Iranian territory, the law of Iran will prevail, and an Iranian judge shall preside
over the meeting, but since the persons have not been charged by the Iranian judge, he will not bepermitted to question them. Finally, it is clear that our diplomacy has taken into account the rightsof individuals while negotiating this MOU.This is why it reads “nothing in this agreement shall jeopardize the rights of individuals granted tothem by law” (Article 8). According to Iranian law and the Iranian Constitution, Iranian nationalscan only be summoned and questioned by a competent Iranian court based on ﬁrm evidence. Bythe same token, this MOU has created no obligation for the persons to attend this meeting, andthey will have the right to decide to attend or not through their own free choice.As we see, the whole process devised by our diplomats more than anything else focuses on ﬁndingthe truth. And that is the fact which our country has been insisting on about this case and othersimilar cases for all these years -- namely that the United States and the Zionist regime have beenmanipulating corrupt judges and weak politicians to serve their illegitimate political interestsunder the disguise of justice.We hope the legislatures of both countries will soon ratify this MOU in order to pave the way forthe truth to be discovered and justice to be served.