Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Israel news photo: Flash 90
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday vowed to identify and bring to justice those responsible for a bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and wounded dozens more.
“We are determined to identify who sent them, those who executed it, and to settle the account,” Barak told reporters in an echo of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's own remarks on Thursday.
"I believe it is time the countries of the world – not just Israel – know the truth,” Netanyahu said on Thursday. “I say this clearly: Iran is behind the wave of terrorism we face, and is the number one exporter of terrorism."
"Israel will continue to fight terrorism, we will act forcefully against Iran. We will continue to pursue terrorists, and exact a price from on those who send them. The State of Israel is strong ... We will continue to fight terrorist Iran,” he vowed.
Israel blames Iran for the bombing at an airport in Bulgaria – just as it blames Tehran for plotting three bombings targeting Israeli diplomats in Asia earlier this year.
Iranian nationals have been linked to two of those previous bombings – in New Delhi and Bangkok – and the Tehran government is suspected of being behind several other failed attempts.
The bus in Bulgaria on Wednesday exploded in a fireball soon after Israeli holiday-makers had boarded it from an airport in the city of Burgas.
A suicide bomber is believed responsible. Iran has denied any involvement in the attack.
White House spokesman Jay Carney responded to Barak's remarks saying, “The United States will support our friends and allies as they confront terrorism and of course our commitment to Israel's security remains unshakeable.”