WHAT DO lobbyists at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the director of a Washington think tank have to do with hedge-fund manager Paul Singer and the Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously in January? Well, according to Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, they are all part of a “global modus operandi” that “generates international political operations of any type, shape and color.” They “ ‘contribute’ to financial attacks or simultaneous international media operations, or even worse, covert actions of various ‘services’ designed to destabilize governments.”
Thus did Ms. Kirchner seek on Monday to explain away the accusations of Nisman, who like the others she named was of Jewish ancestry. The prosecutor was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head the night before he was scheduled to testify to the Argentine Congress about his conclusion that Ms. Kirchner and her foreign minister conspired with Iran to cover up its involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. The same day Ms. Kirchner’s rant appeared on her official Web site, a prosecutor supportive of her political movement announced that he was dropping the criminal charges Nisman had planned to bring against her.
We don’t know if Nisman had a solid criminal case. It’s also unclear how the prosecutor died, though an investigation sponsored by his former wife, a federal judge, concluded that he had been murdered — a judgment that Ms. Kirchner herself has embraced. We’re with the vast majority of Argentines who have told pollsters they believe the Nisman case will never be solved by the country’s highly politicized judiciary, which is why we called for an international investigation.
What’s beyond dispute is that Ms. Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timmerman signed a deal with the Iranian government in 2013 that would have set up a bilateral commission to look into the bombing. The maneuver that was easily understood as an attempt to undermine the Interpol arrest warrants Nisman obtained for eight Iranians he accused of involvement in the attack, which killed 85 people. The deal was nullified by the Argentine Supreme Court, but Ms. Kirchner’s government has continued to court Tehran; Nisman believed it hoped to barter Argentine food for Iranian oil.
How do Mr. Singer, AIPAC and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies come into this? Mr. Singer — or “the Vulture Lord,” as Ms. Kirchner called him — won a court battle on behalf of holders of Argentine debt last year; Ms. Kirchner chose to default rather than pay. Mr. Dubowitz’s think tank has published papers on Argentine-Iranian relations, while AIPAC has criticized the Obama administration’s preliminary nuclear deal with Iran. Confused? The Argentine president isn’t: “Everything has to do with everything when it comes to geopolitics and international power,” she concluded.
In reality, Argentines who wonder why their country has become an isolated and bankrupt backwater that has to look to Tehran for friendship needn’t resort to such anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Their president has just demonstrated, again, what the quality and character of the country’s leadership have been for the past seven years.