Spy vs Spy in New Delhi
The mysterious blast, which left four persons injured including an Israeli diplomat Talyeshova Koren in New Delhi on Monday, has raised several questions in the absence of any concrete evidence to suggest a clear motive behind the incident so far.
What is very strange is that even before the investigations had started, the Israelis started accusing Iran of plotting attacks on its diplomats in different parts of the world. To drive home their point, they cited the example of an attack in Tbilisi and yesterday also made a similar accusation about the Iranian involvement in three blasts in Bangkok. Was it also a sheer coincidence that a top official of the anti terrorist wing of Israel happened to be in the capital on that day and a week earlier a top Mossad official had visited New Delhi?
I am not saying that Israeli charge about the possible involvement of Iranians is far fetched and a part of a larger conspiracy or plan to create grounds for a joint attack by Israeli and NATO forces on Tehran. What I am saying is that let us not jump to any conclusions till our own investigators establish it beyond doubt that Iran was indeed involved in the dastardly incident. Union Home Secretary has already stated that New Delhi does not have any evidence to name any country and it would be premature to take anyone’s name so soon. Neither have authorities in Tbilisi and Bangkok been forthright in establishing links between the incidents in their own countries and the one in India. It is only the Israelis who are insisting on the connection.
Without trying to minimize the gravity of the attack on the Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, I somehow feel that why would a terrorist, Iranian or otherwise use an incendiary device closer to a firecracker than a proper bomb to carry out such an attempt. The `sticky bomb’ as this device is being referred to should have had shrapnel and more destructive elements if it was meant to seriously achieve its objective of hurting or killing any Israeli diplomat. The attack was similar to the kind of incidents which often get reported in the media about an explosive device going off in a bus or a public transport without killing anyone. Many a times these incidents get traced to some Intelligence agency or the other which carries out the attack as part of an exercise to check preparedness by other agencies.
I am also not suggesting that there are no evil elements in Iran and that country has only angels living there. Iran is capable of retaliating or carrying out any action in the interest of their country but given that it has good relations with New Delhi would it still do so on the Indian soil.
Israel and Iran are both strategic partners of India. Israel in defence deals and Iran in gas and oil deals. Both are valuable. It will need a lot of evidence to prove that Iran will carry out an attack on Israel on the Indian soil. If it has indeed done so and our own agencies prove this conclusively, New Delhi should have no difficulty in expelling Iranian officials from here. But in the absence of such direct proof, the Israeli word is not enough. I have great respect for the Israelis and their struggle but they should leave the investigations to the Indians and allow them to draw their own conclusions. A hasty step here could jeopardize relations between friends and this is unnecessary till solid evidence establishes such a link.