Israel launched attacks against its own embassies in New Dehli and Tbilisi in order to "tarnish Iran's friendly ties with the host countries," Iran said on Monday, after denying Israeli accusations that Tehran and its ally in Hezbollah were involved in the plots.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that "Israel perpetrated the terror actions to launch psychological warfare against Iran," according to the state Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
He said that such actions were in Israel's "innate nature," adding that Iran condemns terrorism in the strongest terms.
Earlier Monday, the Iranian ambassador to New Delhi rejected as "sheer lies" accusations that it was involved in a bomb attack on the Israeli embassy in India.
"Any terrorist attack is condemned (by Iran) and we strongly reject the untrue comments by an Israeli official," Mehdi Nabizadeh was quoted as saying by IRNA, referring to accusations by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Iran was responsible. "These accusations are untrue and sheer lies, like previous times."
Netanyahu placed blame for the dual attacks against Israel's diplomatic missions in New Delhi and Tbilisi Monday squarely on Tehran, saying that Israel will continue to "systematically and with patience, use a strong arm" against international terrorism emanating from Iran.
Netanyahu said that Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, is responsible for a string of attempted attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad in recent months, including in Thailand and Azerbaijan. In each of the previous cases, he said, the attacks were thwarted with the help of the local authorities.
"Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world," Netanyahu said. "The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel knows exactly how to identify those responsible for the attacks and how to identify those who carried them out, after two seemingly coordinated attacks were launched on Monday against Israeli embassies abroad. Israel, he added, will not allow terrorism to affect its agenda.
"It just shows that Israel and its citizens face terror inside and outside of Israel," Liberman said. "We deal with it every day. We know how to identify exactly who is responsible for the attack and who carried it out."
"We will not allow this to affect our agenda," the foreign minister concluded.
In the first attack, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured when a bomb exploded in her car in New Delhi, India. The woman succeeded in driving to the Israeli embassy where she was evacuated to a nearby hospital.
Local authorities were investigating the possibility that the bomb was planted under the car or alternatively that an assassin on a motorbike attached it to the vehicle as it was driving. Indian television cited witnesses who saw a motorbike following the car and possibly throwing an object toward it before the explosion.
In the second attack, an embassy staffer in Tbilisi, Georgia discovered a bomb underneath his car as he was driving to the embassy Monday morning. The staffer – a local Georgian national – heard something during the drive, pulled over to the side of the road, noticed the bomb and called local authorities. The bomb was dismantled before exploding.
Yaakov Katz, Gil Hoffman and Reuters contributed to this report.
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