Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner suggested Wednesday that the United States and Israel were meddling in her country’s business, reports The Associated Press (AP).
The comments came ahead of a protest organized by investigating attorneys demanding answers in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
Kirchner, who made the comments while visiting a nuclear power plant, did not mention the march planned or Nisman, who was found dead January 18, just hours before he was to elaborate to Congress on accusations that the president and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman had orchestrated a secret deal with Iran to cover up the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.
In her remarks, Kirchner referred to letters that Timerman said he sent Tuesday to his counterparts in the United States and Israel. Timerman said the two countries should not get involved in Argentina’s affairs, but did not provide specifics.
“Some people wanted to play dumb and look the other way,” she said of the accusations. “I urge all compatriots to read every paragraph of those letters.”
While Kirchner did not elaborate, noted AP, she did cast the apparent friction as a battle of economic interests and attempts by other countries to keep Argentina down.
“In reality, they prefer an Argentina without a nuclear plan, an Argentina that does not develop scientifically, an Argentina with low salaries and cheap labor,” she claimed.
A U.S. embassy spokesman declined to comment, instead referring to a State Department statement from Tuesday saying the United States had offered assistance in the Nisman investigation. That statement came after Timerman indicated he had asked Washington to include the AMIA probe in its nuclear talks with Iran.
A spokeswoman at the Israeli embassy also declined to comment.
Nisman’s death was initially labeled a suicide, but suspicion has fallen on Kirchner's government, while the president has suggested Nisman was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her.
Last Friday, Kirchner was formally accused of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over the bombing, as the new prosecutor in the case, Gerardo Pollicita, accepted Nisman's conclusions.