ARAB NEWS | SANJAY KUMAR | 30 January 2021
Delhi blast: Indian media blames Iran for attack near Israeli embassy
Alert level increased for past few weeks following intelligence reports, ambassador says
NEW DELHI: A day after a low-intensity blast near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, several sections of the Indian media on Saturday accused Iran of staging the attack in the capital.
On Friday, a small bomb exploded nearly 50 meters from the Israeli Embassy — located in a high-security zone and not far from the prime minister’s residence — damaging nearby cars but causing no injuries. Simultaneously, a letter recovered from the site termed the incident a “trailer.”
Media reports say that an envelope found at the blast site “revealed the Iranian connection to the blast” as their targets were Israeli installations in India.
“An Iranian hand is suspected behind the minor IED (improvised explosive device) blast that took place on Friday outside the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi,” New Delhi-based English weekly news magazine, India Today, reported on Saturday.
According to the magazine, the letter describes “Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani and Iran’s top nuclear scientists Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as martyrs.”
Military commander Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad International Airport in January 2020.
Iran’s top nuclear scientist Fakhrizadeh was killed in Tehran in November 2020, with Iran blaming Israel for the assassination.
Meanwhile, English newspaper The Tribune quoted Delhi police sources in its report as saying that the “materials used in the blasts were locally produced.”
“The envelope that was found at the blast site has revealed the Iranian connection to the blast, as it claimed it was a trailer and their target is Israeli installations in India,” it added.
These attacks cannot stop us or scare us. Our peace efforts will continue uninterrupted.
Ron Malka, Israeli ambassador to India
The newspaper reported that “the police with the help of central agencies, including IB (Intelligence Bureau) and immigration authorities, are trying to locate the Iranian nationals who have come to India in the past one month.”
In an interview to various media houses, the Israeli ambassador to India Ron Malka said: “There are enough reasons to believe that it was a terrorist attack.”
He said that “the alert level has been increased for the past few weeks following intelligence inputs,” adding that it was an attempt to “destabilize” West Asia.
“These attacks by those seeking destabilization in the (West Asia ) cannot stop us or scare us. Our peace efforts will continue uninterrupted,” Malka said on Saturday.
In 2012, a blast near the embassy in New Delhi injured an Israeli diplomat’s wife, driver and two others, and coincided with an attack on another Israeli diplomat in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Experts say that the attack raises “serious concerns.”
“When the attack in 2012 took place on an Israeli car in Delhi that time also there was a feeling that India is becoming a playground for Iran and Israel politics. There are some concerns also in this latest case as well,” Harsh V. Pant, a New Delhi-based foreign policy expert at the think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), told Arab News.
“The challenge of Middle Eastern politics being fought in Indian territory is a serious concern. You cannot have a situation where Indian territory becomes hostage to the political landscape of West Asia,” he said.
“If elements within Iran are trying to use India to target their adversaries in Indian territory, that poses a challenge to India’s already troubling relationship with Iran.”