Slain Iranian General plotted terror attacks in Delhi, says Trump
Addressing the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, United States President Donald Trump on Friday said that they executed the world's "number-one terrorist" who plotted terror attacks to "as far away as New Delhi." The US President's statement came after the Pentagon admitted to killing Soleimani in an airstrike outside the Baghdad Airport in Iraq on Trump's orders. Here are more details.
Trump referred to 2012 bombings in Delhi blamed on Iran
Trump said, "Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London." Although the US President did not elaborate on the terror plots he referred to, it is apparent that he spoke of a 2012 bombing, targeting Israel diplomats in New Delhi. The attack was blamed on Iran's military, headed by Soleimani.
What happened during the 2012 bombings?
On February 13, 2012, a vehicle carrying Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the Israeli defense attache to India, was bombed. Koren was on her way to collect her children from school when the bomb, attached to her car with a magnet, exploded. Although no one died, Koren was among the four injured and required surgery to remove shrapnel.
How was Iran connected to the attack?
The same day, a bomb planted on Israeli diplomats in Tbilisi, Georgia, was found. The next day, an explosion targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok, Thailand, left four injured. Israel was quick to blame Iran, since the attacks followed the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, blamed on Israel. However, India reportedly hasn't established a conclusive link to Iran in the bombings thus far.
What does Soleimani's killing mean for India?
Back in 2012, India walked the line between giving a strong response to the attack and sustaining ties with Iran. India was then Iran's biggest crude oil importer. Now, India's worries remain since 7 million expatriate Indians currently reside in Iran and send back foreign remittance. Even though India doesn't import oil from Iran anymore, any unrest in the Middle East could impact imports.
Peace, stability in Middle East of utmost importance: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US. The increase in tension has alarmed the world." Kumar added, "Peace, stability and security in this region is of utmost importance to India. It is vital that the situation does not escalate further." Notably, India imports 80% of its fuel requirements.
Trump said Soleimani was plotting attacks on Americans
Justifying Soleimani's killing, Trump said the Iranian General was "plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel." He said, "The recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani."
US prepared to take whatever action necessary: Trump warned
"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war," Trump went on to say, as murmurs of a US-Iran war have been brewing since Soleimani's killing. In a not-so-veiled threat, Trump also said that US intelligence has "fully identified" potential threats to the nation and is "prepared to take whatever action is necessary."