Tehran has vowed revenge for the killing of its scientists, which it has blamed on Israel, and Hezbollah has vowed to avenge the slaying of its leader, considered a mastermind of some of the group’s deadliest attacks.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incidents, but Israeli officials said they appeared to have been directed by Iran, and they warned that if the Islamic republic becomes a nuclear power, it could provide greater protection for militant groups that would be emboldened by its support. Iran denied responsibility for the bombing attempts, calling them an Israeli provocation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cited places where he said attacks on Israelis and Jews had recently been foiled, including Thailand and Azerbaijan, and he accused Tehran of orchestrating Monday’s plots, calling Iran “the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world.”
“In all these cases, the elements behind the attacks were Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to act with a strong hand, systematically and patiently, against international terrorism, whose source is Iran.”
In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney was more cautious, saying that the United States had “no information yet on who is responsible for these attacks” and adding, “We have not made a judgement yet.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a condemnation of the bombing incidents, calling them acts of terrorism, but she avoided any accusation of responsibility.
The United States is leading a global push for sanctions that it hopes will force Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment program, while urging caution on Israel, which is weighing a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. The United States, Israel and others suspect that Iran is trying to acquire the material and technology needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iran, however, says its nuclear program is aimed only at producing energy and medical isotopes.
Iran’s ambassador to India, Mehdi Nebizadeh, said Iran played no role in Monday’s attack in New Delhi.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said Israel was behind the bombing incidents, which he said were intended to “tarnish Iran’s friendly ties with the host countries” and wage “psychological warfare against Iran,” according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. “Iran condemns terrorism,” the spokesman added.