NEW DELHI – After months of painstaking investigations, police in India have
come to the firm conclusion that Iranian nationals associated with the country’s
Revolutionary Guards plotted and carried out the bombing of an Israeli embassy
car in New Delhi on February 13.
The wife of the Israeli defense attache,
Tali Yehoshua-Koren, was wounded in the attack.
An Indian journalist
allegedly recruited by the Revolutionary Guards is in custody in India.
team made up of senior investigators from the Delhi Police will soon visit
Tehran to present their findings to Iranian officials and seek further details
prior to asking for the extradition of at least five men and a woman suspected
of planning and executing the attack.
Indian courts have issued the
documents required to facilitate criminal investigations and collect evidence
abroad. The documents have been dispatched to the government in
Copies of the police report have been submitted to India’s
Ministry of Home Affairs and shared with the country’s external and internal
intelligence agencies. The detailed account of the sequence of events, including
a reconstruction of the incident backed by evidence, has left officials and
Until now, aside from Pakistan, no country or “state
actor” has been involved in carrying out trans-border terror strikes in
The move will likely have an adverse impact on bilateral relations
between India and Iran unless Tehran proactively cooperates with New Delhi to
bring the perpetrators to justice.
An Israeli government official said
the Indian announcement “was not a surprise” and that New Delhi has known about
Iranian involvement in the attack for some time, but was now being more specific
about the details.
The official said the acknowledgement of Revolutionary
Guard involvement was significant because India is known for its position in the
Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) and does not automatically endorse stands taken by
Israel, the US or the West.
“When they come out and say this guy was
sponsored and used by the Iranian government, we would hope that this would
serve as a wake-up call to many in the NAM that Iran’s behavior is simply
unacceptable, and that Iran’s support for terrorism across the world, including
in many developing countries, is a threat to those countries,” he said The
official added that NAM members should think seriously about attending a
conference the movement has scheduled for August in Tehran. The Indian
revelations, he said, should further show these countries the “true, aggressive
character of the Iranians.”
Relations between India and Iran are far less
warm and effusive than they were even six months ago.
contributed to the chilling of relations, but so has the blatant violation of
international law in the targeting of Israeli diplomats based in New
Oil imports from Iran have been drastically reduced and further
cuts are on the slate.
Support for Iran in the Indian media has fallen
The Delhi Police report says the five men and the woman
believed to be involved in the attack are members of the Army of the Guardians
of the Islamic Revolution, popularly referred to as the Revolutionary Guards – a
branch of Iran’s military.
The government of Iran, therefore, cannot
dissociate itself from the agency or the actions of its members.
details and extent of involvement by the suspects were pieced together with the
help of disclosures made by a Shi’ite Indian Urdu-language journalist, Syed
Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, who was arrested within days of the bombing.
suspects had been in touch with Kazmi for a decade, turning him into a
sympathizer and then an ally.
The five men operated from behind elaborate
covers that were created to camouflage their links with the Revolutionary
Houshang Afshar Irani, the man who planted the “sticky bomb” on
Yehoshua-Koren’s car, claims to be a construction worker. His associates have
similar covers: Sedaghatzadeh Masoud – said to be the operational head of
trans-border attacks and the brains behind similar bombings either carried out
or thwarted in Georgia, Bangkok and New Delhi – claims to be a salesman for a
commercial company on Baharestan Street in Tehran.
Syed Ali Mahdiansadr
claims to be a store owner in Tehran, Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi says he is a
clerk for Tehran’s water authority and Ali Akbar Norouzishayan uses the alias of
a retired accountant based in Tehran.
The woman uses the name Leila
Rohani. She is believed to have been involved in the attacks in Georgia, Bangkok
and New Delhi. She was last seen in Bangkok, where she took a flight to
There are presently three Iranians and a Hezbollah operative in
jail in Thailand for a thwarted attack there.
Two Iranians found with
explosives are under arrest in Kenya, and a Lebanese national who has admitted
to being a Hezbollah operative is being held in Cyprus.
Details of the
findings by Delhi police investigators are believed to have been shared with