Connections between rogue states and terror groups is nothing new - At one time both Afghanistan and Sudan sheltered al-Qaeda, some Pakistani leaders likely looked the other way when it came to the location of Bin Laden, and Egypt was too lenient when it came to Hamas tunnels from Gaza - but I would argue that few countries have played as big a role as a state sponsor of terrorism as Iran has. As analysts and journalists have documented extensively, the regime in Tehran has an ocean of blood on its hands in the Middle East, from its willingness to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of lives in its war with Iraq in the 1980's to its role in the deaths of US troops in that same country in recent years.
But the bloodshed does not stop there - as the primary booster of Hezbollah, Iran has played a key role in the murder of innocent people all over the world. This week, with the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who spent a decade investigating the bombing of the AMIA Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, (an act long linked to both Hezbollah and Iran) its hard to believe that Tehran was not involved in some way. It seems to me that the death of Mr. Nisman has resonated well beyond Argentina because he was a well-regarded, able civil servant, dedicated to exposing the role that Iran played in the deaths of 85 citizens of Argentina. Furthermore, the suggestion that the government of Argentina has been complicit in covering up Iranian involvement in the AMIA bombing in exchange for oil has heightened interest among the media and the public.
Whatever the exact circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Nisman, we can only hope that whomever is responsible is caught and brought to justice swiftly, not only for the sake of his family and colleagues, but for all those who lost their lives at the hands of Iran and its proxy Hezbollah two decades ago in Buenos Aires.
Copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2015.