By Haider Ali.
Last month, an attempted assassination plot failed to bear fruit in India and Georgia as Israeli diplomats were targeted. The first attack was aimed at the wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi when a motorcyclist drove alongside her car and threw what appeared to be a magnetic bomb at it during the afternoon. Despite the explosion, the damage was miniscule with the occupants of the car escaping with serious injuries. Yehoshua-Koren, the ambassador’s wife, underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from near her spine and was in a critical but stable condition. As for the bomb device found in Georgia, nobody was injured or maimed as the bomb was diffused.
What this latest event in a long line of mutual attacks has done is escalate the tensions between both Iran and Israel. These assassination attempts are coming hot off the heels of the latest deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran just this past month. Over the past six months, a spate of murders have commenced further fuelling the rage of the Iranian hierarchy who believe the covert US intelligence officers are behind the plots in cahoots with their Israeli counterparts, the notorious Mossad.
The capabilities of Mossad extend beyond the norm of many normal underground intelligence services. They have gone so far as to use forged passports of other nationalities to carry out illegal deaths of intended targets, violating both the sovereignty of nations and international law. Yet they seem to go unpunished over their deeds as they did with murder of a Hamas commander in Dubai.
Whilst Iran has pointed the finger at Israel and her western allies pertaining to the attacks on their home soil, Israel has moved forward in much the same way accusing Iran of these attacks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concurred with the prevalent view in the west that Iran was behind these attacks. Addressing his Likud party he stated, “Iran is behind these attacks, and it is the largest terror exporter in the world,” before going on to say “In the past few months we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in a number of places – Azerbaijan, Thailand and others. In all those cases, the elements behind these attacks were Iran and its protégé, Hezbollah. Of course one can’t rule out self-sabotage in these cases. One only has to point to key events in the past to help create a pretext for war, namely the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Iranians have been swift in their response to these charges via an issuing of several statements. Iranian ambassador to New Delhi Mahdi Nabizadeh yesterday denied the claims. “Any terrorist attack is condemned and we strongly reject the untrue comments by an Israel official.” Similar sentiments were echoed by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast who lambasted the Israelis by saying “The Zionist regime, due to repeated crimes against humanity, is the main party accused of terrorist activities.”
One would have to question further besides the obvious motive that Iran would have for targeting such low key Israeli political figures. Iran has increased its oil exports to India in exchange for rupees and infrastructure. It would be to their detriment to hurt this relationship by launching a covert attack on Indian soil. With such cordial relations between India and Iran, the Indian Prime Minister stopped short of accusing Tehran of being behind the attacks.
There is no disputing the prominent role the Israelis have played in stoking the fires between themselves and Iran. Further to the point, one would not be surprised as by the subterfuge Israel has used in the past to help create pretexts for war. But even with this point in mind, one would not be surprised by Iran responding in a retaliatory manner to avenge the death of their key scientists. Using proxies like Hezbollah would be the perfect organisation to carry out these threats, which would have two significant messages for Iran’s enemies. The first being Iran won’t be intimidated by its accusers in the west with regards to a possible nuclear programme; and secondly it too has the capability of using covert means to target western diplomats at will should it ever feel the need to.