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'Iran, Hezbollah seeking to harm Israelis globally'
By HERB KEINON
02/14/2012
Barak accuses Tehran of standing behind coordinated terror attacks against Israeli interests in New Delhi and Tbilisi.
 
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday accused Iran and Hezbollah of carrying out Monday's terror attacks in India and Georgia saying they were "intent on sabotaging the Israeli way of life and operating against Israelis all over the world."

Speaking during a state visit to Singapore, Barak added that Israel must be at the forefront of fighting terror and continue to prepare for the challenges it faces as Iran and Hezbollah seek Israeli victims.

Within hours of Monday’s attacks in Tbilisi and New Delhi, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu placed the blame squarely on Tehran, saying Israel would continue to “systematically and with patience use a strong arm” against international terrorism originating from Iran.

Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of a diplomat stationed in New Delhi, was moderately wounded there, along with her driver and two passersby. In Georgia, no one was injured when the bomb under the car of a local embassy employee was discovered and neutralized.

Netanyahu said Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, was 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, the local authorities attacks helped thwart the attacks, he said.

“Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the biggest exporter of terrorism in the world,” the prime minister said. “The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions.”

Israel raised the level of alert at all of its embassies and consulates overseas following the coordinated attacks.

Tehran, meanwhile, denied any responsibility for the attacks, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast saying it was another phase in Israel’s “psychological war” against the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted him as saying that Israel itself was behind the attacks to “tarnish Iran’s friendly ties” with Georgia and India.

Herb Keinon and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.
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