The wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi and her driver were injured on Monday when the car they were traveling in was bombed, officials said. A second attempted bombing was defused outside the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, at about the same time.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately blamed Iran, which has vowed revenge for the recent assassinations of several scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program. Hezbollah, which receives funding and strong support from Iran, also had promised to avenge the assassination of one of its leaders, Imad Moughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus on Feb. 12, 2008.
Ticking off places where he said recent attacks on Jews and Israelis had been thwarted, including Azerbaijan and Thailand, Netanyahu accused Iran of orchestrating the attempts and called the government in Tehran “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.”
“In all these cases,” Netanyahu said, “the elements behind the attacks were Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah.”
Netanyahu offered no details of the attempts he cited, or specific evidence for his claim. But Israel had put its foreign missions on high alert in recent days, because of the anniversary of Moughniyeh’s death.
Both the New Delhi attack and the discovery of the bomb in Tbilisi happened around the same time Monday—3:20 p.m. in New Delhi, and 1:50 p.m. in Tiblisi (4:50 a.m. in Washington).
New Delhi police commissioner Brajesh Kumar Gupta said the wife of the diplomat “was going to pick up her children at the American embassy school” when a person on a motorcycle approached her vehicle and affixed a magnetic bomb to its rear side.
“A mild explosion soon took place and the car caught fire,” Gupta told reporters at a news conference.