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Report: Iran Implicated in Embassy Car Bombing

Delhi Police are expected to announce they have conclusively tied the February 13 bombing of an Israeli embassy car to Iran.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 3/13/2012, 9:10 PM

Tal Yehoshua-Koren's car after New Delhi terror attack
Tal Yehoshua-Koren's car after New Delhi terror attack
Reuters

India's papers reported Tuesday that Delhi Police have 'conclusively' linked the 13 February bombing of an Israeli embassy car to a conspiracy hatched by Iranian secret agents.

Quoting sources privy to the investigation, the Times of India reported it has been "conclusively established" that Syed Mohammad Kazmi, "was in touch with an Iranian intelligence officer and had visited Iran as part of the conspiracy."

Kazmi, a freelance journalist who had written for Iranian news agencies, has been charged with aiding the bike-borne bombers in reconnoitering the Israeli embassy and keeping tabs on the comings and goings of diplomats there.

Sources in the security establishment told the Economic Times that the breakthrough in the case will be announced by the Delhi Police in a "day or two." They added that "another couple of detentions" have been made in the case.

The questioning of these two persons is underway and their arrests will follow soon. A senior official of the security establishment claimed that the Delhi Police had identified the bomber.

Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of a diplomat stationed with the Israeli Defense Ministry mission in India, was injured when a bomb exploded on the back of the diplomat's car in which she was riding. The same day, a car bomb was discovered on a diplomat's car in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Those incidents came before a botched 14 February bombing targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok in which Thai officials arrested several Iranian nationals.

On Monday, home minister P Chidambaram briefed Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror about the case ahead of the public announcement of the breakthrough.

The "breakthrough" comes as relatives and friends of Kazmi have been protesting against his arrest and claiming that he was framed by the Delhi Police.

However, observers note that India – which has billions of dollars in annual trade tied to Iran and whose officials have warned of "consequences" if Tehran is proven to be involved – has no motive to falsify an Iranian link.

Such a charge would potentially upset India's crucial deals for importable crude oil and derail major infrastructure contracts with Tehran.

Putting its weight behind the Delhi Police, India's Home Ministry said it completely backs their line of investigation.

"Wait for the announcement from the Delhi Police, which will unravel the entire conspiracy and the role of each individual and agency in the attack," a senior home ministry official the Hindustan Times.

The outcome of the blast probe confirms Israel's charge that Iran or its terror proxy Hizbullah were behind the blast.

While seeking Kazmi's remand last week, public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan had told the court that the accused was one of the conspirators involving international terrorism.

"This is a case of international terrorism. It is not necessary that only Indians are involved and there is a possibility that some foreign nationals might also be involved in the case," he said, adding that the conspiracy was hatched outside India.