Terror struck—or attempted to strike—Israel in two foreign locations on Monday.
In New Delhi, a passing motorcyclist apparently slapped a bomb onto the car of an Israeli diplomat. He wasn’t inside, but his wife was, and she and the driver were injured—neither of them gravely. The Washington Post said the attack “bore eerie similarities” to the January 11 assassination in Tehran of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, which Iran blamed on Israel.
At about the same time, in Tbilisi, Georgia, a local staffer at the Israeli embassy realized something was stuck to the bottom of his car as he was driving it. He pulled over and, seeing it was a bomb fastened with duct tape, called the police who safely dismantled it.
The incidents were not surprising and came at a time when Israeli delegations throughout the world were on high alert. In addition to blaming Israel for the Ahmadi-Roshan and other nuclear-scientist killings, Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hizbullah charge Israel with the assassination of Hizbullah terror-master Imad Moughniyeh. He was killed in Damascus on February 12, 2008—for which Monday was almost exactly the fourth anniversary.
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately said Tehran was responsible for Monday’s events and called it “the greatest exporter of terror in the world.” He pointed to other recent incidents—the arrest on terror suspicions of a Hizbullah man in Bangkok after a tip-off from Israel, and the thwarting of an Iranian plot in Azerbaijan to assassinate the Israeli ambassador there.
Iran, for its part, again surprised no one by calling Netanyahu’s charges regarding New Delhi and Tbilisi “sheer lies.”
In actuality, the recent rash of incidents shows that neither Israeli nor American saber-rattling toward Tehran, the frequent talk of “options on the table,” is yet to achieve deterrence. Tehran’s brazenness reached a new peak with a plot, uncovered in October, to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. It was planned for a Washington restaurant and could have caused multiple casualties. The U.S. is yet to carry out any known retaliation.
Also tending to be ignored is the fact that Iran’s current defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, is an international criminal wanted by Interpol for his role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. The attack killed 85 people and injured hundreds. Vahidi, a commander of Iran’s Quds Force at that time, was appointed defense minister in August 2009—a few months after President Obama sent his message to Iran calling for peace and dialogue.
Indeed, Monday’s incidents coincide with a Daily Beast report claiming the U.S. and Israel are still at loggerheads over how to deal with the mullahs’ regime. The report says Obama still refuses to assure Israel that, if sanctions fail, he’ll use the military option; and that Israel, in response, has “stopped sharing a significant amount of information with Washington regarding its own military preparations.”
Considering that regime’s record of barbarity (in some cases via Hizbullah and other proxies), from the 1979 U.S. embassy takeover through the 1983 bombing of the U.S. barracks in Lebanon, the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (followed by the 1994 bombing of the cultural center), the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the various missile barrages and other terror against Israel, and the support for attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan—among much else—one does not need a wild imagination to regard nukes in Tehran’s hands as the ultimate nightmare.
Monday’s events—fortunately relatively minor—are a grim reminder that this regime, which engages in terror all over the world, would not hesitate to convey nukes to terrorists and make that world intolerably dangerous, along with sparking an inevitable Middle Eastern nuclear-arms race and directly threatening Israel and, eventually, Europe and the U.S. with a nuclear-missile capability.
The Obama administration still regards the situation as less than urgent and has even put off sanctions affecting Iran’s central bank till July. Israel sees it differently.
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