Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of involvement in bomb attacks targeted at Israeli embassy staff in New Delhi (India) and Tbilisi (Georgia),
According to The Washington Post, the wife of an Israeli embassy official in New Delhi and her driver were injured in a car bomb blast. The attack took place about 500 meters from the official residence of the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. According to eyewitness account, a motorcyclist stuck a device on the back of the car with diplomatic registration plates. B.K.Gupta, New Delhi police commissioner, said "The eyewitness...says it (was) some kind of magnetic device. As soon as the motorcycle moved away a good distance from the car, the car blew up and it caught fire."
Reuters reports police in India said the attack happened as the woman went to pick her children from school. The woman had a surgery to remove a shrapnel from her body. Her driver and a passenger also suffered injuries.
Haaretz.com gave the name of the injured woman as Talia Yehoshua-Koren. She works at the embassy and is married to a defense attache. According to Reuters, the Israeli defense ministry said: "She was able to drag herself from the car and is now at the American hospital, where two Israeli doctors are treating her."
The Washington Post reports an explosive device was found duct-taped to the underside of the car of an employee of the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Reuters reports the attempt to bomb the embassy car in Georgia failed. The driver of the car found the bomb and it was defused.
There have been no claims of responsibility for the attacks, both of which happened on Monday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, however, accused the Iranians of plotting the bomb attacks. Netanyahu said the attacks were in revenge for recent assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. He also accused Hezbollah of involvement because the group recently vowed to avenge assassination of one of its leaders four years ago.
Netanyahu, who offered no specific evidence to back up his claims, said: “In all these cases, the elements behind the attacks were Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. We will continue to act with a strong hand, systematically and patiently, against international terrorism, whose source is Iran.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, has responded to the accusation from Israel, saying Israel deliberately planned the attacks to “tarnish Iran’s friendly ties with the host countries and to wage psychological warfare against Iran.” Mehmanparast stressed that "Iran condemns terrorism" having also been a "victim of terrorism."
Iran's ambassador to India, Mehdi Nabizadeh, also denied that Iran had any connection with Monday's bomb attacks. He said: “Any terrorist attack is condemned, and we strongly reject the untrue accusations by an official of the Zionist regime. Like always, these accusations are untrue and sheer lies.”
However, in what appears a veiled admission of Iran's involvement in the bomb attacks, Hamid-Reza Tarraghi, a politician allied to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah khameini, said: “If Iran would plan something like that, we would certainly not announce it. We have called for support of the resistance against Israel, so it is possible cores of resistance are formed across the world. But I have no idea who is behind the attack in India.”
According to Haaretz.com, India's Foreign Minister SM Krishna said an investigation has been launched. He promised India will provide the Israeli embassy and diplomats with security. He said India condemns the attack and that the perpetrators will be caught and brought to justice.
Netanyahu said there have been attacks on Israelis in other parts of the world recently, including Thailand and Azerbaijan. He called Iran “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.”
Reuters reports that last month, Thailand police said it arrested a Lebanese man linked to Hezbollah who led them to a warehouse stocked with materials for making bombs. Authorities in Azerbaijan also said they arrested two men suspected of involvement in a plot against Israel's ambassador and a rabbi.
The Washington Post reports Israel has placed its embassies on high alert, citing the anniversary of the death of Hezbollah leader Imad Moughniyeh killed in Damascus in February 12, 2008. Moughniyeh died when a bomb planted in the headrest of his car went off.
According to The Washington Post, the bomb attack n New Delhi and the discovery of a car bomb in Tbilisi happened about the same time on Monday, 4:50 a.m. U.S. time.