Some call it a proxy war, others call it a "shadow war," but whatever you want to call it, a tit-for-tat assassination campaign between Iran and Israel seems to be playing out across state capitals around the world. The U.S. is currently in the awkward position of having to confirm or deny which bomb plot came from which country. "We are not going to pre-judge this," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, following today's blasts in Thailand. While the State Department has no proof Iran was involved, Nuland did draw a parallel between today's attacks and Monday's attacks against Israelis in India and Georgia, saying, "We do note that they come on the heels of other disrupted attacks that do have Iranian fingerprints on them." Here are scenes from the suspicious attacks attributed to the two countries and what we know about them so far:
Bangkok, Thailand In the aftermath of today's bombings in Thailand, Thai officials have been led to a stockpile of bombs in a house where two men identified as Iranians were captured, reports The New York Times. The attacks involved three men, two of whom ran from a house in the Sukhumvit neighborhood after an explosion tore off the roof. A third man was seen later trying to leave the area. Thomas Fuller writes, "He threw two grenades, one at a taxi and one at approaching police officers. The blast from the second struck him, however, blowing off his legs and injuring several Thais."
Before any evidence was available, Israel defense minister Ehud Barak blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the attacks. “The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terrorism,” he said. The Jerusalem Post now reports that Thai officials say the Iranians intended to target Israelis. Overall, the three explosions wounded four Thai civilians, according to the AP.
New Delhi, India On Monday, a bomb attached to an Israeli Embassy van detonated near the Israeli embassy and wounded four people. Describing the way the attack was carried out, The Hindu reports that "the modus operandi resembled attacks, for which Tehran has held Israel responsible, on Iranian nuclear scientists, who have been killed after motorcycle borne assassins attached magnetic explosives to their moving vehicles."
Iran has rejected allegations from Israel that it was involved in the car bombing, saying the explosions were part of Israel's psychological warfare campaign against Iran. "We categorically reject the accusations made by the Zionist (Israeli) regime. They are part of a propaganda war," said Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast. Nilanjana Bhowmick and Aaron J. Klein write in Time magazine that "India now finds itself caught in the geopolitical mire between Israel and Iran, two countries that both share friendly relations with New Delhi. The coming few weeks will be a test for Indian diplomacy as well as its security establishment."
Tbilisi, Georgia Within hours of the attack in New Delhi, an Israeli Embassy driver noticed a device attached to the bottom of his car in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Thankfully, the bomb was safely defused.
Responding to allegations by Israel, Iran dismissed the statements as "sheer lies." According to The Guardian, "Mehdi Nabizadeh, ambassador to Delhi, was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency in Iran as saying: 'Any terrorist attack is condemned [by Iran] and we strongly reject the untrue comments by an Israeli official.'"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.