Iran behind Thailand blasts, claims Israel's Ehud Barak4:52 pm - 02/14/2012
Israel has accused Iran of being behind three blasts in Bangkok [today] that injured five people and blew off the legs of the alleged bomber – an Iranian national who was fleeing police when the grenade slipped through his hands and detonated next to him.
The blasts came just a day after bombs targeted Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia, and has again escalated tensions between the two countries.
Thai police have not yet divulged motives for the blasts, but the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, directly accused Iran of exporting terror around the world. "The attempted terror attack in Thailand proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to operate in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that," said Barak.
He said Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah were "unrelenting terror elements endangering the stability of the region and endangering the stability of the world".
A second suspect was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi international airport after authorities found explosive materials in a house apparently rented by the bomber and two others. A third suspect is still at large, according to Thai police.
The two men in custody are likely to be closely interrogated by Thai police about their intended target and who they were working for. Israeli officials said they expected the Thai authorities would share information obtained in the course of their investigation, but declined to say whether Israel would seek an active role in the interrogation of the men.
Saeid Moradi, who was seriously injured in the blast, is an Iranian national who is thought to have entered Thailand from South Korea on 8 February at the southern resort town of Phuket. The second suspect has been named as the Iranian national Mohammed Hazaei, 42, who was detained after trying to board a flight to Malaysia, according to local media.
The blasts started at about 2pm local time on Tuesday, when a bomb accidentally detonated inside the assailant's house in Ekkamai, a bustling residential district in east Bangkok. The blast blew off part of the roof, causing two occupants to flee, police said, followed by a wounded and bloodied Moradi.
Observers fear the bomb attacks in Thailand, India and Georgia are the latest acts in a covert war between Israel and Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions. Iran has accused Israel of assassinating several of its nuclear scientists in magnet bomb attacks – the same weapon that was used to target an Israeli diplomat in Delhi on Monday, injuring four people.
In Jerusalem, the Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, said there was not yet any sign that the targets in Bangkok were Israeli or Jewish. "Security co-operation [between Israel and Thailand] is very tight," he said.
Israel has raised the state of alert within the country, with the emphasis on public places, foreign embassies and offices, as well as Ben-Gurion international airport.
Will Hartley, editor of IHS Jane's Terrorism & Insurgency Centre, said: "While Israel's claims that Iran and Hezbollah are behind the attacks in India and Georgia cannot be discounted, at this stage it's impossible to substantiate such allegations, and it is unclear why Iran would risk an attack on Israeli interests in India, when India has been broadly supportive of Iran during the recent nuclear sanctions debate, and is one of Iran's most important trade partners.
"The alleged perpetrator of today's attempted attack in Thailand reportedly possessed an Iranian passport, possibly lending credence to Israel's allegation that Iran is waging some kind of international campaign. However, the attacks in India, Georgia and now Thailand have all been highly amateurish, and lack the sophistication that would normally be expected from an operation executed by either Hezbollah or Iran's own external operations wing, the Quds Force."
More details at the source.
I was wondering why no one had posted on this topic recently. The escalation between the Iran and the U.S., Israel and other countries is quite frightening to me, tbh. I have to say I find it unfortunate that *diplomacy* has not been more used as an approach (i.e. a bit of the carrot rather than the stick). Which is not to say that the Iranian regime is not horrible -it is- but antagonism does not seem to serve a useful purpose, IMHO.
There is also a certain hypocrisy in the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, IMHO. It isn't that I love the idea of states such as Iran having the bomb -but OTOH, isn't it a bit hypocritical of those countries who have this technology and who in some cases still have nuclear weapons to tell other nations they can't have access to nuclear technology?
What do you all think?
-On the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty: http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2010/npttext.shtml
-More on Iran in recent years and on the history of this conflict between Iran and the west: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/index.html
-On the history of Persia and Iran: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2009/05/29/f-iran.html
-On the Shah of Iran, including his links with the U.S. and his regime's corruption: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jun/08/bae44