India assures Israel full support in probe, plays neutral (Roundup)

February 15th, 2012 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Amid Israel’s charges about Iran’s role in the attack on an Israeli embassy car here, India Wednesday asserted that it has no evidence yet linking any individual or county to the terror attack and assured Tel Aviv of full support in the probe.

Indian investigators are currently examining records of 115 phone calls made to Iran, Israel and Lebanon from Delhi for clues in the Monday bomb attack.

Iran said it could neither confirm nor deny the Israeli allegation and asked India to verify the charges.

“We are not accepting or denying this. We don’t know anything. We hope that India will verify the case to know the real position. Till now, their final reaction has not come. We hope it will come,” Iranian Ambassador to India Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh told reporters here.

Meanwhile, Iran’s tense ties with the West threatened to take a turn for the worse as a defiant Tehran displayed its nuclear might and began loading domestically-made nuclear fuel rods into its research reactor amid a national TV address by the Iranian president.

Two days after the terror attack on an Israel embassy car in a high-security area close to the prime minister’s residence, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met Israeli Ambassador Alon Ushpiz and assured him of India’s full support in probing the incident.

Krishna is understood to have conveyed that investigations are progressing and stressed that India does not have any evidence so far to link any individual, entity or country to Monday’s attack.

Ushpiz said he has been assured of India’s full support in investigating the incident.

“The meeting was a very good one. It is just another shining example of support, friendship and intimacy that we have been lucky to be exposed to in the last 48 hours since this very saddening vicious terrorist attack on one of our people took place here in the heart of New Delhi,” said Ushpiz after the meeting.

The envoy said the health condition of Israeli woman Tal Yehoshua, 40, who was injured in the attack, was improving. “I can say that there is a constant improvement, a gradual but constant improvement in the condition of our friend.”

Krishna also said that as requested by Israel, extra layers of security will be provided to the Israeli mission and its employees, said official sources. The Delhi Police is understood to have tightened the security of the Israeli embassy staff.

Amid renewed pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme and the Israeli allegation about Iran’s complicity in the New Delhi attack, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in Islamabad that trade between New Delhi and Tehran is unlikely to be affected by the car attack.

There is no outside pressure, said government sources, adding that the Iranian issue figured prominently in discussions between Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and senior US officials during his visit to Washington last week.

Saudi Arabia is understood to have offered India to hike its export of oil to make up for the shortfall from Iran. India has not responded to the offer.

The Saudi ambassador met Krishna Wednesday, but official sources said that only the situation in Syria and bilateral ties were discussed.

An unidentified motorcyclist Monday attached an improvised explosive magnetic device to the Israeli embassy car which exploded into flames. The sources said that the calls were made to these countries in the 15 days before the incident.

Delhi Police were still hunting for the motorcyclist who attached the magnetic device to the Israeli embassy vehicle on Aurangzeb Road.

A nine-member Israeli forensic expert team arrived here Wednesday afternoon with samples of the explosive used in the botched terror attack in Tbilisi (Georgia) Monday and Tuesday’s three blasts in Bangkok — also blamed on Iran.

They examined the cars damaged in the bombing to find out whether there were any similarities in the explosive substance used in all the incidents, police officials said.

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