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[WASHINGTON] Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner and her top diplomat did not benefit from the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who accused them of covering up a probe into the country's worst terror strike, the diplomat told The Washington Post.
"Who gained by having Mr Nisman dead?" Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said in a story published Tuesday. "Not me. Not the president." He was referring to the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, 51, who was found dead January 18 with a gunshot wound to the head.
He had been due to appear before a congressional hearing at which he was expected to accuse Kirchner and Timerman of shielding Iranian officials from prosecution over a 1994 bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center that killed 85 people.
Officials initially labeled the death a suicide, but suspicion has fallen on Ms Kirchner's government of orchestrating Nisman's murder.
The president has suggested Nisman was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who then killed him to smear her.
Nisman had accused Iran of ordering the bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association via the Lebanon-based Shi'ite movement Hezbollah.
Four days before he was found dead, Nisman filed a 300-page report accusing Ms Kirchner and her top diplomat of trying to cover up high-ranking Iranian officials' involvement in the attack in exchange for oil.
But Mr Timerman said that as a Jew he would not turn his back on his people and their history by derailing the investigation of the 1994 attacks.
"For what? To get what? Oil? Argentina does not import oil. We don't need oil," Mr Timerman said.
In fact, Argentina today has oil, and does not need imports, thanks to the fracking boom.
But as recently as 2011 - during Ms Kirchner's term as well as her husband (Nestor Kirchner)'s before her - Buenos Aires was spending billions of dollars a year on oil imports when global prices were still sky high.