Attacks Target Israeli Diplomats in India, Georgia, Netanyahu Blames Iranإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Israeli diplomats were targeted by bomb attacks in Delhi and Tbilisi on Monday, officials said, with two people injured in the Indian capital when an embassy car exploded in a ball of fire.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed the finger at Israel's regional arch-foe Iran.
"Iran is behind these attacks. It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world," Netanyahu told members of his rightwing Likud party.
Netanyahu said Israel has thwarted other attacks in recent months in Azerbaijan, Thailand and elsewhere.
"In all those cases, the elements behind these attacks were Iran and its protege Hizbullah," he said.
Israel would continue to act "with a firm hand" to stamp out "international terror coming from Iran," he said.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman swiftly denied Netanyahu's accusations.
"We categorically reject the accusations made by the Zionist regime. They are part of a propaganda war," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by Iran's Arabic-language channel Al-Alam.
"Iran condemns all acts of terrorism," he added.
Mehmanparast said Iran "has also been the victim of terrorist actions," adding that "the Zionist regime itself is based on state terrorism and occupation" in reference to Israeli-occupied Palestinian land.
Iran has accused Israel of involvement in a series of killings of officials and scientists involved in its controversial nuclear program.
The car which blew up in a high security area of central Delhi, a short distance from the Israeli embassy and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence, was badly burnt.
Police in the Georgian capital defused an explosive device found in the car of an Israeli embassy employee, the ex-Soviet state's interior ministry said.
Ravi Singh, a petrol pump attendant who was standing on the other side of the road from the Delhi blast, said: "There was a huge explosion. There was a woman and a driver in the car which was burning and the woman was dragged out."
Israeli embassy spokesman in New Delhi David Goldfarb said that one of the injured occupants of the car was an Israeli diplomat but declined to comment further. An Israeli security official said the diplomat was a woman.
Indian police cordoned off the area surrounding the burnt-out station wagon and investigators were at the site.
"We are examining the materials at the site and we are yet to get the experts' report so we still cannot say how the blast occurred," New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat told Agence France Presse.
He said there were no details about the condition of the two injured people but television reports said that one was in a critical condition.
A photograph on NDTV television showed flames shooting out of the vehicle when the explosion occurred.
"There was an explosion in an Israeli diplomat's car but we don't know how it happened, Goldfarb said.
"We are in constant contact with the local authorities."
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP in Jerusalem that Israeli authorities were investigating the blast in New Delhi as well as the incident Tbilisi.
"We are looking into both of these incidents and cooperating with the local law enforcement agencies," Palmor told AFP.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the attacks proved that Israelis both at home and abroad were "a target for terrorists."
"We are facing physical terror as well as political terror on a daily basis," Lieberman said in a statement, in which he said Israel knew "how to identify those who are responsible."
"These attacks also remind us of the fact that Israeli diplomats are on the front lines of the campaign that Israel is dealing with around the world."
The attacks came between the anniversaries of the deaths of two top Hizbullah leaders, Imad Mughniyeh and Abbas Moussawi, which spark annual travel warnings from the Israeli government.
Top Hizbullah military commander Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Damascus on February 12, 2008, while Moussawi, the group's secretary general, was killed by an Israeli missile on February 16, 1992.
Both attacks were blamed on Israel and sparked vows of revenge from the Lebanese armed group.
A Jewish center run by the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitch movement was among the targets in the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which India blames on the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, in which 10 gunmen killed at least 188 people.
The last militant strike in New Delhi was last September when a bomb outside the High Court killed 14 people -- the latest in a series of blasts that has shaken public confidence in the Indian government's counter-terror capabilities.