(House of Representatives - March 16, 2017)

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[Page H2086]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia). The Chair 
recognizes the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) for 5 
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will, sadly, commemorate 
the 25-year anniversary of the terrorist bombing against the Israeli 
Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which occurred on March 17, 1992. 
The terror attack also destroyed a Catholic church and a nearby school.
  Twenty-nine people lost their lives in this horrific attack, 
including Israeli diplomats and their spouses, a Catholic priest, and 
Argentinian citizens, many of whom were children; and nearly 250 others 
were wounded.
  Two years later, on July 18, 1994, over 80 people were murdered in a 
similar terrorist bombing at the building of the Jewish community 
organization, also known as AMIA, in Buenos Aires.
  These two attacks had many similarities, Mr. Speaker: many innocent 
people lost their lives or were severely injured; Israelis and Jews 
were the main target for these horrific attacks; and, unsurprisingly, 
Iran, the world's foremost state sponsor of terror and its terror proxy 
group, Hezbollah, were responsible for these attacks.
  Yet here we are, 25 years after the Israeli Embassy bombing and 23 
years after the AMIA attack, and those responsible for those cowardly 
acts have yet to be brought to justice.
  It hasn't been for lack of evidence, Mr. Speaker. In fact, the 
Supreme Court of Argentina found that the Iranian-backed--U.S.-, 
Israel-, and Arab League-designated--Lebanese-based terror group 
Hezbollah was responsible for the embassy bombing. A preponderance of 
evidence shows that Iran directed, financed, and assisted Hezbollah in 
the commission of the terror attack.
  Buenos Aires also called for a special prosecutor to investigate the 
AMIA bombing and appointed special investigator Alberto Nisman to the 
case. As a result, Argentina issued international arrest warrants for 
nine Iranian officials in connection with the AMIA bombing after Nisman 
determined that Iranian proxy Hezbollah was responsible for this 
heinous act.
  Mr. Nisman's commitment to the rule of law and the fight against 
corruption and terror was unwavering. I had the honor and privilege to 
call Alberto a friend and speak with him frequently to discuss the case 
and Iran's role in these barbaric attacks.
  Sadly, Mr. Speaker, Alberto was found dead in his apartment in 
Argentina on January 19, 2015, under mysterious and suspicious 
circumstances. In December 2015, President Macri made a bold statement, 
a decision, to create a special prosecutor to investigate Nisman's 
death, which hopefully will not only uncover the truth surrounding his 
death, but also could vindicate the work for which Alberto dedicated 
and maybe even gave his life.
  We can honor Alberto's legacy by continuing his work to hold those 
responsible for the terrorist bombings 25 years ago against the Israeli 
Embassy in Buenos Aires and the AMIA bombing in 1994. That is why I am 
introducing a resolution today alongside Chairman Royce, Ranking Member 
Engel, Ted Deutch, Jeff Duncan, and Albio Sires, all of whom lead the 
way in holding Iran accountable for its cowardly acts of terror.
  This resolution, Mr. Speaker, expresses support to the Government of 
Argentina for its investigation into the terrorist bombing of the 
Israeli Embassy on March 17, 1992, as well as the AMIA bombing on July 
18, 1994. The resolution also commends President Macri for appointing a 
special investigator in December of last year to examine the 1994 AMIA 
terrorist attacks.
  We are calling on our own government to assist Argentina in any way 
possible to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. We also 
urge responsible nations to work together to fight and defeat 
international terrorism and its state sponsors like Iran.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support this important resolution, to 
take a moment today to remember those who suffered in Hezbollah's 
barbaric terrorist attack, and to continue to press those responsible 
to be brought to justice.
  Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge and personally thank 
the Argentine Ambassador to the U.S., Martin Lousteau, for being here 
in the gallery this morning. The Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron 
Dermer, is represented by Reuven Azar, Deputy Head of Mission at the 
Israeli Embassy, who was actually born in Argentina. I thank them for 
being here this morning.
  I urge this investigation to go forward with U.S. support as well. I 
thank them so much, and let us remember the victims of these dastardly 
attacks today.