Israel says Iran plots covert war

BANGKOK — Israel accused Iran of waging a covert campaign of state terror that stretched this week from the Middle East to the heart of Asia after a bungled series of explosions led to the capture of two Iranians in Bangkok.

Authorities in Israel ratcheted up security at home and abroad following Tuesday's explosions in the Thai capital, escalating a confrontation over Iran's suspect nuclear program and raising fears of war.

On Monday, an Israeli diplomat's wife and driver were wounded in New Delhi when a bomb stuck to their minivan exploded, and another device was defused on an Israeli Embassy car in Tbilisi, Georgia. Israel blamed Iran for those attacks as well.

Israel has threatened military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, and Iran has blamed the Jewish state for the recent killings of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Iran denied responsibility for the attacks in India and Georgia, which appeared to mirror the killings of the Iranian scientists that used "sticky bombs."

The series of blasts in Bangkok wounded four Thai civilians and blew off the leg of an Iranian who had fled a house carrying what looked like grenades after a cache of explosives ignited there, apparently by mistake.

When police searched the Iranians' home, the bomb squad found and defused two explosives, each made of three or four pounds of C-4 explosives inside a pair of radios, and National Police chief Gen. Prewpan Damapong said the bombs were "magnetic" and could be stuck on vehicles.

The wounded Iranian was in police custody at a Bangkok hospital and immigration police detained a second Iranian as he tried to board a flight for Malaysia. Security forces hunted for a third Iranian suspect.

There was no comment from Iranian officials in Tehran on Tuesday's explosions in Thailand.

There seemed to be no doubt in the minds of Israeli officials, who blamed Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah.

"The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in Singapore. "The recent terror attacks are yet another example of this."

iran to claim 'nuclear achievement': Iran signaled Tuesday that it had made further advances in its disputed nuclear energy program, announcing that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would reveal "key nuclear achievements" today, the New York Times reported. An Iranian news agency said he was likely to proclaim that a new uranium enrichment plant built inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom was "fully operational."

The announcement appeared timed to convey the defiant message that the increasingly harsh Western economic sanctions imposed on Iran were having no effect on the government's determination to proceed with its nuclear program.

Israel says Iran plots covert war 02/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 10:50pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...