New Delhi, Feb.21: Israeli Energy and Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau on Tuesday expressed faith in the investigations of a bomb blast near its embassy in New Delhi, saying he expected the perpetrators to be ‘chased and found’, but warned the world about dangers of a “nuclear capable” Iran.
Speaking to reporters here, Landau expressed dismay over the recent militant attacks on its diplomats around the world.
He urged that if the world did not curb Iran’s mounting “aggression” the attacks would spread.
“It is disturbing but it’s not new. Israel has been under increasing attacks by international terror, much of that under the sponsorship of Iran. Now, Iran by the way, has targeted our diplomats … (unclear) lately. It took place in Thailand, where an Iranian passport was found on one of the attackers. It was done so in Tbilisi and it has taken place here in New Delhi,” Landau said.
Thai investigators believe they had found a link between the recent bomb blasts in Bangkok and New Delhi as the exclusives used in blast had the same “magnetic sheets”, blaming Iran of being behind two of three attacks.
Landau lauded Indian agencies for their vigorous approach to the matter and is hopeful that the culprits would be brought to book soon. That’s a matter of concern whatever happened here in New Delhi is that an Israeli diplomat was attacked. Also, three Indian citizens were injured. If there is a terror group here in India attacking Israelis, it may attack others too, including Indian citizens. We do see the investigation which is taking place here in India. We have full faith. We do see level of expertise, vigorous approach by Indian authorities. We are highly thankful for it. We have full confidence that terrorists here will be chased and found. I guess, this is important for the security of the international relations for the development of international economic ties,” said Landau.
A powerful bomb wrecked a car taking an Israeli embassy official to pick up her children from school. The woman was in stable condition after surgery to her spine and liver.
Her driver and two passers-by suffered lesser injuries in the attack.
On the same day, an attempt to bomb an Israeli embassy car in Tbilisi failed and the device was defused, Israeli and Georgian officials said.
However, Iran, whose leaders had threatened to retaliate for Israel’s alleged car-bomb assassination of several of its nuclear scientists, denied involvement in the attacks on February 13 and February 14, including a bomb that failed to explode in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Expressing concern, Landau said that world must draw red lines to stop Iran to avert further violence.
“Just imagine, if this is what Iran allows itself to do whilst it doesn’t have at the moment the nuclear capabilities. What kind of Iran will be and what will it dare to do once they have nuclear capabilities. I guess, all democratic countries have to be aware of this increasing threat that casts its shadow,” Landau said.
He claimed that Iran along with and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah is involved in spreading militancy across the world.
“Iran is publicly going on and saying that they are on the way to destroy the state of Israel. They don’t hide it. What’s for them to just target individual diplomats, it’s a small variation on the overall game. Iran is just not involved in terrorism vis-…-vis Israel in Thailand, in Kuwait, in Delhi. They have already used other terror organisations, which they sponsor such as the Hezbollah to put up …bombings against Israeli embassies as was the case in Argentina twice. Well, they have been intercepted as I mentioned in Turkey. They are highly involved in what’s happening in terror in Iraq, in Afghanistan with Al-Qaeda,” said Landau.
The bombing up to some extent has put India’s trade ties with Iran to the test.
However, Landau says that oil market is a free market with Iran not the only option for any country.
“In particular, when we come to the Oil market, it’s today an open market, it’s a free market. If you cannot buy from one supplier, you can buy from many more suppliers. To assume that Iran is indispensable, people in the west don’t think this way. They have decided for example, to stop buying oil from Iran, why? Because Iran, in this way, is …. (unclear) for them. Iran is a terror regime that has to understand that terror has a price that they have to pay and free countries have to stand up and defend themselves,” Landau said.
India has good relations with both Iran and Israel, so the attack makes its diplomatic balancing act between the two countries all the more difficult and has thrust the mounting tension between the Middle East rivals on to its doorstep.
Israel is the second-largest supplier of arms to India. But India is Iran’s biggest oil buyer, relying on it for about 12 percent of its needs, and it is Iran’s top supplier of rice.
Trade between India and Iran is unlikely to be affected by the bombing in New Delhi, India’s commerce minister Anand Sharma said after a trade association chief said he feared wary exporters would back away from deals with Iran.
Up to now India has not gone along with new financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. Instead, New Delhi has come up with elaborate trade and barter arrangements to pay for oil supplies. (ANI)