Netanyahu Says Iranian 'Terror Activities' Must Be Halted
February 15, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that what he calls Iran's "terrorist activities" have been exposed to the world following a recent series of attacks targeting Israeli diplomats.
Addressing parliament on February 15, Netanyahu reiterated Israeli allegations that Iran was behind an explosion and a plot this week that targeted Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.
Netanyahu called for Iranian "aggression" to be halted before, he said, it spreads to other countries.
"Iran is the world's greatest exporter of terror," he said. "During these very days, Iran's terror actions have been revealed to everyone's eyes. Iran upsets the stability of the world."
Speaking in Tokyo, visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak saidthat Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, an Iranian ally, were also responsible for a series of explosions in Thailand on February 14.
"We raised the issue of terror led by groups like Hezbollah and especially the Iranians. Recently in Bangkok, in Delhi and Tbilisi, we see it in a very sincere way. It's a breaking of rules of diplomacy and the behavior of nations."
A statement from Netanyahu’s office said Israel's security cabinet was briefed on Iran's "involvement in repeated attempts to strike at Israeli targets" around the world, and reviewed unspecified "preventive steps against the Iranian terror campaign."
Iran has denied the Israeli allegations.
Iranian state-run media quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as accusing Israel itself of being behind the explosions in Bangkok, and of trying to harm Iran's relations with Thailand.
A Cache Of Bombs
In the Bangkok case, Thai investigators said they had discovered a cache of bombs in a rented house in the capital.
The discovery came after a series of explosions rocked a Bangkok residential neighborhood on February 14.
Two men identified as Iranian nationals were arrested and charged with causing an illegal explosion and other offenses after a blast occurred in the rented house.
One of them, identified as Saeib Morabi, was detained after he threw a grenade at a taxi and another at a police car.
His legs were blown off and four other people were injured in the blasts.
Thai police said another Iranian suspect, Mohammad Hazai, was arrested at Bangkok's international airport as he was about to board a plane to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia’s police said a third Iranian, Zedhaghat Zadech Masoud, was arrested in the country.
A fourth suspect, a woman, is also being sought by Thai authorities in the case.
Bombs 'Targeted Individuals'
The head of Thailand’s national security council said the suspects were likely planning to “target individuals," but did not appear to be in possession of the quantities of explosives that could inflict serious damage on buildings or larger groups of people.
Wichean Potephosree said: “The destructive power did not reach the level of being able to target groups of people or big buildings.”
Speaking about possible links to the incidents targeting Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia on February 13, the Thai offical said: "We haven't found any links, but we are still investigating.''
The Israeli ambassador to Thailand, Itzhak Shoham, said the explosive devices found in Bangkok were similar to ones used in New Delhi and Tbilisi.
"From that we can assume that there is the same network of terror," he was quoted as saying.
Thai police said magnets were found at the rented house in Bangkok.
The devices used in New Delhi and Georgia were attached to vehicles using magnets.
An Israeli diplomat was injured in the New Delhi attack, after a motorcycle rider attached an explosive device to the back door of a vehicle. In Tbilisi, a bomb beneath an Israeli diplomat's car was found and defused.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on February 15 that it "forcefully condemns" the attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.
Compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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