http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 71645.html
Washington, DC - The magnet bomb that exploded on an Israeli Embassy diplomat's car in Delhi on February 13 seemed on the surface to be consistent with an Iranian-sponsored action.
It was carried out with same method by which Israel's Iranian proxy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, had assassinated an Iranian scientist in mid-January. It occurred on the anniversary of the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mugniyeh, which Hezbollah had vowed to avenge. And it happened at the same time as what appeared to be attempted bombings in Bangkok and Tbilisi.
But a review of the evidence uncovered thus far makes the link to Iran begin to look very dubious. Instead, it points to the distinct possibility that the Israelis planned a carefully limited bomb attack that was not intended to cause serious injury to Israeli diplomatic personnel, but that would advance the larger Israeli narrative on the need to punish Iran.
The evidence surrounding that bomb itself indicates a series of decisions by the terrorist team that is fundamentally inconsistent with an Iranian-Hezbollah revenge bombing. The preliminary forensic analysis of the bomb itself had estimated it to be 250-300 grams of explosives, but sources in the investigation later reduced the estimate to 200-250 grams. The 250-gram bomb that exploded near the Delhi High Court in May 2011 did not even damage the car under which it had been placed and was characterised by Police Commissioner B K Gupta as a "low-intensity and mild blast".
The main damage to the Israeli diplomat's car was not from the explosion but from the fire, which burned so slowly that the occupants suffered no burns.
If the bomb had been filled with shrapnel of iron filings, nails or glass, or if it had been attached underneath the fuel tank or on the door next to the passenger, that bomb would have seriously injured or killed the passenger, Tal Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Israeli Defense Attaché. But Delhi police were able to determine that the bomb contained no such potentially deadly shrapnel. And an examination of the videos and photos of the car after the bombing revealed that the bomb had been attached instead to the rear of the vehicle, where it would have the least impact on the occupants.
In the larger context, it is very difficult to believe that Iran would have chosen New Delhi as the location for revenge against Israel, given the importance of India as a buyer of Iranian oil and India's delicately balanced political-diplomatic position in the larger conflict.
India had just replaced China as Iran's single biggest crude oil customer, having increased its imports to roughly 550,000 barrels a day in January, which compensated for a drop in sales to China. And the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had resisted pressure from the United States and Europe to reduce its purchases from Iran, even working with Iran to find ways to get around the planned sanctions against Iran's National Bank. India's Commerce Ministry was planning a large business delegation to Iran to discuss increased trade.