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Mission car attack linked to Iran, Israel tells India

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 13:40 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The attack on an Israeli diplomat's car here a year ago figured in talks between Indian and Israeli counter-terrorism experts here with Tel Aviv asserting that the attack was linked to Iran and urging that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

"The issue came up and we made very clear the seriousness with which we see the attack and that those responsible should be brought to justice," said Jeremy Issacharoff, deputy director general for strategic affairs in the Israeli foreign ministry.

Issacharoff, who was part of the Israeli delegation at the eighth meeting of India-Israel Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism held Wednesday, said that Tel Aviv "clearly associates" the attack with Iran. Tehran, he said, has carried out similar attacks against Israeli nationals elsewhere.

The wife of the Israeli defence attache suffered multiple injuries in a bomb attack on her car Feb 13 last year. A motorcycle rider attached a magnetic explosive device to her car and sped away, which exploded within seconds, setting the car on fire. Three others were also injured.

According to the diplomat, attacks on Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi, Georgia, at the same time and the death of five Israeli tourists in a suicide attack in Bulgaria last July were all linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

"There are similarities... clearly relate the activities to the IRGC," he said.

Issacharoff said they had "very open consultations" with the Indian team "and we felt high degree of understanding" from India.

"From our point of view, we clearly associate the attack with Iran," he said.

India has shared its probe on the attack, he said, but declined to divulge the details.

"We will clearly continue to keep the issue on the table," he added.

According to Issacharoff, Iran "remains a key threat" to Israel's national security. Tehran's nuclear programme has not stopped due to international pressure, but it is continuing with its programme of enrichment of uranium. "We see steady progress in its enrichment programme."

The Indian delegation to the talks was headed by Asoke Kumar Mukerji, special secretary in the ministry of external affairs. The Israeli delegation was co-led by Issacharoff, and Eitan Ben David, head of counter-terrorism bureau at the prime minister's office.

Both sides exchanged perceptions of threats emanating from terrorism and emphasised their determination to fight the menace.

They discussed terrorist threats in regional and global arenas as well as national counter-terrorism measures, state sponsored terrorism, prevention of transfer of weapons to terrorists, cooperation in multilateral fora and lessons from terror attacks, including 26/11.

The 9th meeting of the JWG will be held in Jerusalem in 2014.




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