News / Middle East

    Israel Blames Iran, Hezbollah for Attacks on Diplomats, Tehran Denies

    Police and forensic officials examine a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi, February 13, 2012.
    Police and forensic officials examine a damaged Israeli embassy car after an explosion in New Delhi, February 13, 2012.
    Scott Bobb

    Israel has accused Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of carrying out near-simultaneous bomb attacks that targeted Israeli diplomatic vehicles in India and Georgia, wounding four people. Tehran quickly denied the accusation.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his Likud party that Iran was responsible for Monday's attacks in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

    He said Iran is behind these attacks, and that Iran is the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. He added that Israel and its security services would work with local security services [abroad] against such terrorist acts.

    Netanyahu also accused the Lebanon-based Hezbollah of involvement. Iran and its ally Hezbollah are bitter enemies of Israel.

    The two attacks occurred nearly simultaneously Monday afternoon local time.

    A bomb blast tore through an Israeli diplomatic car in New Delhi, wounding the wife of a diplomat and another person.

    In Tbilisi, an explosive device was discovered on an Israeli diplomatic vehicle and was defused.

    Other attempted attacks have been prevented recently in Azerbaijan and Thailand. Earlier this year, Israel placed its officials abroad under heightened security.

    Hezbollah accuses Israel of killing many of its senior leaders.

    And Iran has accused of Israel of responsibility for attacks on scientists and installations believed to be involved in an alleged Iranian program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran said its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes such as energy and medicine.

    Israeli officials say Iran must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons and that all options, including a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, could be used to prevent it.

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