Have American and Israeli efforts to pin international terrorism on Iran just gone global? A series of bomb attacks apparently on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia are now being linked with blasts in the Thai capital, Bangkok, for which it is reported that three Iranian men have been arrested.
Israel is claiming that the explosive devices recovered in Thailand are the same “sticky bombs” that were used in the attacks in New Delhi and Tbilisi, and that is proof that an Iranian terror network is conducting an assassination campaign against its foreign diplomats.
“The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror,” said Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister.
Thai police have named one of the men injured in the blasts on Tuesday in Bangkok as an Iranian national. It is reported that two other men arrested, one in the Thai capital and another detained after he flew to Malaysia, are also Iranian.
The Thai authorities have so far declined to comment on claims that the group is part of an international terror network. The assailants in the Indian and Georgian attacks are unknown. However, Israel has claimed that those apparent assassination attempts against its diplomats on Monday in New Delhi and Tbilisi were the work of Iranian-linked Hezbollah, operating out of Lebanon.
Israeli claims echo long-standing assertions by Washington and Tel Aviv that Iran is a sponsor of international terrorism. At the end of last year, the US government claimed that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington. The latter alleged plot has been widely scoffed at for its outlandish circumstances involving an Iranian used car salesman in cahoots with a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the murder bid at a restaurant in the US capital.
Nevertheless, the latest incidents this week will doubtless fuel repeated assertions by Western governments that Iran is a “rogue state” presenting a threat to international security, in particular with regard to harbouring sinister “nuclear weapons ambitions”. Taken together, it purports to justify the US/NATO/Israeli war plans towards Iran. It is believed that Washington has given Israeli a tacit green light to launch pre-emptive military strikes against the Islamic Republic. In this context, the latest claims emanating from Tel Aviv that its foreign diplomats are being targeted for assassination by Iran could provide a fatal trigger for long-held war plans.
But a closer look at the latest blast incidents raises serious questions about the credibility of such claims, and indeed could suggest that they are part of a false flag campaign to set Iran up for imminent attack.
For a start the explosive devices apparently used in Thailand, India and Georgia were so-called sticky bombs, devices that can be magnetically attached to vehicles for targeted assassination of individuals. In the New Delhi attack, a motorcyclist rode up to the Israeli diplomat’s car and attached the bomb. In the Tbilisi incident, the device was apparently stuck underneath the vehicle’s chassis. None of the diplomats alleged targeted were seriously injured in the attacks.
But this method of assassination has been used previously with devastating effect in the murder of four Iranian nuclear scientists in separate attacks. The latest Iranian victim of assassination was 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan who was killed when motorcycle assailants planted a sticky bomb on his car in Tehran last month. The Iranian government has claimed with credible reasoning that the assassination campaign against its scientists is the work of American and Israeli intelligence. The American and Israeli use of Iranian nationals as proxy agents to execute such a campaign is a proven modus operandi.
Iran has strongly denied any involvement in the latest terror incidents in India, Georgia and Thailand, as well as the alleged bomb plot against the Saudi diplomat in Washington. There is plausible credibility in Iran’s denials. What would Iran gain from such action, only grief and trouble?
This is especially true with regard to India and Thailand. Both Asian countries have become major trading partners with Tehran in recent years. India, along with China, is Iran’s biggest customer for its vital oil industry.
Thailand is of growing importance as a trading partner with Iran for oil, mining, heavy industry, services, technology and agriculture especially after both countries set up a joint business council five years ago.
For Iran to carry out such attacks, as is being claimed, would be like shooting itself in the foot, particularly because both Asian countries have refused to join in the US-led campaign to isolate Iran economically and diplomatically.
Put the other way round, it is much more in the interest of Washington and Israel to destabilize relations between Iran and its Asian partners. The repercussions from the blasts in India would appear to be having that desired effect.
Take this Reuters reports: Up to now India has not gone along with new financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. Instead, New Delhi has come up with elaborate trade and barter arrangements to pay for oil supplies. However, the president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association said Monday’s attack on the wife of an Israeli diplomat in the Indian capital will damage trade with Iran and may complicate efforts to resolve an impasse over Iranian defaults on payments for rice imports worth around $150 million. “The attack and its political fallout have clearly vitiated the atmosphere. Traders who were already losing money due to payment defaults will be extremely wary of continuing their trade with buyers in Iran,” Vijay Setia told Reuters.
So add it up. Bomb teams with proven US/Israeli assassination expertise and methodology; target countries that are major Iranian partners; desired effect of further isolating Iran internationally; and, to cap it all, a long sought-after pretext for Israel to attack Iran with America’s blessing.
When logic and facts coincide like this, it’s usually more prudent to engage in reason than to indulge in lurid claims.
Finian Cunningham is Global Research’s Middle East and East Africa Correspondent