Israel Says Iran Behind Deadly Blast in Europe

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by maomao, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Israel accused Iran of orchestrating the bombing of a bus packed with Israeli tourists in a Bulgarian resort town Wednesday that killed at least six people and injured 30 others, adding to tensions across the Middle East.

    Fire engulfed the bus and nearby vehicles in an airport parking lot in Burgas, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, sending up plumes of dark smoke. Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said his Bulgarian counterpart told him a bomb was planted on the bus.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised retaliation.


    An explosion tore through a bus packed with Israeli tourists in a Bulgarian beach-resort city, killing four people, wounding dozens and heightening tensions after Israel quickly blamed Iran. Josh Mitnick has details on The News Hub. Photo: AFP/GettyImages.

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    Bulgaria: Likely Suicide Attack
    "This is an Iranian terror attack that is spreading throughout the entire world," he said. "Israel will respond with force."

    President Barack Obama denounced the attack as "completely outrageous," and said Wednesday the U.S. would "stand with our allies, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators."

    Mr. Obama called Mr. Netanyahu by phone to extend his condolences.

    Tehran didn't immediately issue any comment. No group immediately claimed responsibility.

    The bus bombing follows accusations by U.S. and allied governments that Iran's elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has been behind plots to hit Western targets in Kenya and Cyprus over the past month. The Obama administration didn't explicitly accuse Iran in Wednesday's attack.

    The White House is worried that alleged aggression by the Revolutionary Guard's overseas unit, the Qods Force, is partly in response to intensifying Western sanctions targeting Iran's oil revenues and finance sectors. "We're definitely seeing stepped-up activities," said a senior U.S. official. "We're guarding against this closely."

    U.S. officials also believe Iran is retaliating for the assassinations over the past three years of five Iranian nuclear scientists, which Iran blames on Israel.

    Since the start of this year, Israeli diplomatic missions and Israeli tourists have been targeted in a series of plots—many of which have been thwarted—in countries stretching from Thailand to Georgia.


    European Pressphoto Agency
    Smoke billowed from the scene of the explosion, and several buses and cars at the airport parking lot were on fire near the bus.

    The U.S. and Israel have linked the incidents to Iran and the Iranian-backed militia, Hezbollah.

    "A single Iranian thread links the foiled terrorist plots in Washington, Cyprus and Kenya to the attacks in India, Thailand and today's murderous bombing in Bulgaria," said Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. "The Iranian regime is waging a global terror campaign and will not stop until it understands terror's painful price."

    U.S. officials believe the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is increasingly dominating Tehran's foreign policy, particularly as sanctions threaten to cripple the Iran economy. One U.S. official said the IRGC was acting with more autonomy within the Iranian hierarchy: "The leash has been loosened."

    Wednesday's attack came as escalated fighting in Syria threatens to alter the dynamics of the conflict. Israel fears Hezbollah and Iran will take advantage of chaos in Syria to launch cross-border attacks into the Jewish state.

    The Burgas attack fits the pattern of recent plots against Israelis abroad.

    Last week, Cypriot officials arrested a Lebanese man, allegedly tied to Hezbollah, on suspicion he was preparing to attack Israeli tourists at the resort of Limassol.

    Earlier this month, Kenyan authorities arrested two Iranian men on charges of illegally shipping roughly 100 kilograms of high explosives into the country. They also charged the men with conducting surveillance on U.S., British and Israeli targets in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and the resort of Mombasa.

    "It's obvious there is an Iranian campaign," said Shmuel Bar, an Israeli counterterrorism expert at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya.

    "It has to do with dissuading Israel by sending a message that if there's an Israeli attack on Iran, then we can cause problems…It's a form of pre-emptive deterrence."

    The beach resort that was hit in eastern Bulgaria has become an increasingly popular vacation spot for Israelis as tensions between Israel and Turkey have mounted.

    The 5:30 p.m. blast struck soon after a plane of vacationers from Tel Aviv landed and passengers had boarded buses hired to shuttle them to their hotels. Israeli authorities reported that seven people died. Bulgarian authorities have confirmed six dead.

    "I was on the bus and heard a big boom," said Gal Malcha, an Israeli survivor interviewed by Israel's Channel 2 news. "We got out by a hole made from the explosion."

    After the explosion, Bulgaria stepped up security for the Jewish community in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, home to most of the country's 5,000 Jews.

    The attack coincided with the anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires 18 years ago that killed 85 people.

    An Argentine magistrate concluded Iran was behind that attack.

    Israel has for months threatened to attack Iran's nuclear installations if Western diplomacy doesn't force Tehran to stop its production of nuclear fuel.

    But despite Mr. Netanyahu's pledge of revenge, it is unlikely that Israel would use Wednesday's attack as grounds to strike Iranian nuclear targets, a move opposed by the U.S. and likely to trigger a regional war.

    Israel Blames Iran For Attack in Bulgaria - WSJ.com
     
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  3. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    Israel merited it. Did they killed the Iranian cientists, doesn't?

    First principle of diplomacy is the reciprocity. Israel stirred the Iranians. Now they've to face the consequences.
     
  4. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    The next round of tit-for-tat assassinations has just begun... :popcorn:
     
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  5. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    The attacks didn't start with murder of Iranian scientists. Iran has a long history of actively supporting Hezbollah in killing israeli civilians. If israel had responded in kind then there would be daily suicide bombings in Iran.
     
  6. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    But Israel didn't murder Iranian scientists in a simple reply to Hezbollah. He done because is against a nuke Iran, and try all ways to embarrass Iran of build it, so Israeli secret killings has nothing to do with Hezbollah. Even if there were no Hezbollah, Israel would attack Iranian scientist same way.
     
  7. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    I dont buy the argument israel will keep attacking iranian without any cause. The only target of iranian nukes is going to be israel ,israel knows it. After seeing it civilians killed by iranian backed hezbollah israel wont be taking chances by allowing iranian nuclear program to succeed, it will do all it can to sabotage it from planting viruses to targeted assassinations.
     
  8. IBSA

    IBSA Regular Member

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    I dont think Israel is the only target for Iranian nukes. For me, it is Israel who feeds paranoid that Iran is a threat for him, because I think Iran dont perceives Israel as threat for real. Why shall Iran think Israel is it if the two countries are away each other? Time ago the two countries had been side to side in Irangate.

    Iran has other regional bigger threats as KSA, with whom he disputes hegemony on the Gulf and GCC states, or as Pakistan, with whom he disputes influence on Afghanistan and Central Asia. This last has nukes already. I think if Iran develops its nukes, some them will target KSA and Pakistan too, and not only Israel.
     
  9. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    If Iran doesn't feel threatened then why does it fund extremist groups against Israel? Surely there must be reason for this madness.

    KSA is more interested in spreading its ideology, you wont need nukes to counter that. Moreover Iran standing against pakistan is a joke, even when shias in parachinar were being butchered and their dead bodies paraded as animals, they kept silent. Pakistan army’s gift to visiting Iranian President: 49 Shia Muslims slaughtered in Parachinar

    and yesterday they killed some more shias using anti-tank mines Vehicle hits mine near Kohat, killing 14 Shias | DAWN.COM

    I dont think Iran which prides itself as the cultural heartland of shias will ever take a stand against such butchery going in pakistan. If something of this scale had happened in israel then ahmedinijad would be all over the news condemning it and calling for attacks against israel. nukes or no nukes iran will continue to ignore these massacres.
     

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