Iran has taken the ongoing diplomatic spat with Israel to New Delhi, but maintained that it is open to an Indian team visiting Tehran in connection with the attack on Israel embassy personnel here in February.
Rubbishing Israel’s charge that they had orchestrated the attack on their embassy personnel, Iran foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi mounted a counter-offensive on Tel Aviv — listing out instances where Israel had given “legality to assassinations”. Official sources said the Iran minister’s outburst against Israel has no bearing on the ongoing investigation into the case.
Dismissing the charges on the attack on the Israel embassy personnel, the minister said, “We totally refute the allegations. The world consciously knows the Zionist regime, and how they do their business.”Salehi has come to New Delhi as the Iran President’s special emissary to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the NAM summit in Tehran. He had held wide-ranging discussions with external affairs minister SM Krishna.
Salehi also alleged that many Iranian scientists — “the best as well as the young” — were killed by Israelis.
Indian investigators probing the February 13 terror attack case have claimed that four Iranians and an Indian journalist were part of the conspiracy to attack the Israel embassy car. Following a CBI request, Interpol issued look-out notices against the Iranians — Houshang Afshar Irani, Syed Ali Mahdiansadr, Mohammadreza Abolghasemi and Masoud Sedaghatzadeh. India officially sought Iran’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, Krishna said Iran remains India’s most important source of oil.
In an obvious reference to US pressure for reducing oil imports from Iran, the minister said unilateral sanctions should not impact its “legitimate trade interests” with the Persian nation.