Hector Timerman, Jewish Argentine foreign minister investigated for cutting deal with Iran, dies at 65


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Hector Timerman, the foreign minister of Argentina who was investigated in an alleged cover-up of Iran’s role in the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center in 1994, has died.

Timerman, who was Jewish, also was a journalist, human rights activist and politician.

He died Sunday at his home in Buenos Aires following a battle with cancer. He was 65.

Timerman was foreign minister in January 2013 when Argentina and Iran signed an agreement to form an independent commission to investigate the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center.

Timerman later was named with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s 300-page complaint claiming a cover-up of Iran’s role in the bombing, which killed 85. Nisman, who also was Jewish, was found shot dead four days after filing the complaint.

The agreement is under investigation by Argentina’s justice department.

At 23, he worked as editor in chief of a newspaper owned by his father, Jacobo, who was kidnapped in 1977 by the military dictatorship that ruled the country and released in 1979.

Shortly after his father’s arrest, Hector Timerman joined the struggle for human rights and was granted political asylum by the United States. In New York, he helped found Human Rights Watch and continued to work for his father’s release.

He earned a degree in international relations from Columbia University.

After the 2003 elections he became a supporter of the new president, Nestor Kirchner, who named him consul to New York in 2004 and ambassador to the United States in 2007. He became foreign minister in 2010.

In April 2015, he resigned his membership in the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center, saying that it was due to the “obstructionist actions” the institution made against the deal with Iran to investigate the attack.

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