Israel blamed Iran on Monday for bomb attacks on its diplomats’ cars in India and Georgia, heightening concerns that the Jewish state was moving closer to striking its archenemy.
Iran denied responsibility for the attacks that appeared to mirror the recent killings of Iranian nuclear scientists that Tehran blamed on Israel.
The blast in New Delhi set a car ablaze and injured four people, including an Israeli Embassy driver and a diplomat’s wife; the device in Georgia was discovered and safely defused.
“Iran is behind these attacks, and it is the largest terror exporter in the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
The violence added further tension to one of the globe’s most contentious standoffs. Iran has been accused of developing a nuclear weapons program that Israel says threatens the existence of the Jewish state. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Comments by Israeli officials in recent weeks have raised fears Israel might be preparing to strike Iranian nuclear facilities. While Israel says it hopes international sanctions can curb Iran’s nuclear program, leaders pointedly note “all options are on the table” and have warned that as Iran moves closer to weapons capability, time is running out for action. Fearing an Israeli attack could set off a conflict across the region and send oil prices skyrocketing, U.S. and other Western countries have been pressing Israel to give sanctions more time.