Over a month after a suspicious blast near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi on 29 January, the Iranian Embassy released a statement on Monday, 8 March, denouncing any involvement in the attack, calling it an “unfair onslaught and unsubstantiated defamatory accusations against Iran.”
The Iranian Embassy’s remarks come after a Hindustan Times report, which claimed on Monday that the investigation by India’s counterterrorism agencies pointed towards the involvement of the Iranian Quds Force – a key faction of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – in the incident. It reported that the bomb was allegedly planted by a local Indian Shia module.
A low-intensity IED blast had taken place on 29 January at a spot near the Israeli Embassy in Delhi. While no injuries were reported, Israel at the time had said it was treating it as a "terrorist incident".
What Did Iran Say?
"While respecting the government and authorities of India in their endeavour to thoroughly investigate and probe into the above mentioned incident in order to identify the orchestrators of such actions and to bring them to justice, this embassy strongly repudiates any unsubstantiated allegations or irresponsible comments in this regard and considers them as steps towards realising the sinister intentions of the enemies of Iran-India relations," the statement said, reported news agency PTI.
The embassy added that Iran has long-standing and cordial relations with India, and is ready to cooperate to unravel who is behind the attack. The Iranian embassy asked the media and commenters “not to fall into the traps”, alleging that the perpetrators must be angry and dissatisfied about the progress in relationships between India and Iran, and intended to deteriorate it, noted the report.
The embassy questioned who would really gain from carrying out this blast, and whether the incident had any benefits for bilateral relations between India and Iran.
"We expect all the media and commentators not to fall into the traps and thereby unknowingly enforce the scenarios conspired by third parties whose intention and interest is nothing but to deteriorate the growing Iran-India relations”, said the statement, reported PTI.
The embassy opined that "The culture, civilisation, history and also the national and religious beliefs of the government and people of Iran would never allow conduct of any actions which are inhumane, terrorist, barbaric and in contravention with human and divine values and which are done in order to cause fear and destruction to the lives of innocent people and even animals and plants,” added the report.
The Bomb Blast
The bomb blast took place at around 5 pm on 29 January near the Israel embassy, shattering the windscreens of three cars on the road even as the Beating Retreat ceremony was going on a few kilometres away from the spot.
However, no one was injured in the explosion, which took place on the 29th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel.
An envelope containing a letter addressed to the ‘Israel Embassy ambassador’ has also been retrieved from the site, calling the blast a “trailer” and also mentioning two “Iranian martyrs” – Qasem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – The Indian Express reported.
The Centre had on 2 February handed over the investigation in the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The development followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on 1 February.
(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express, and ANI)
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