If Iran really was behind the February 13 attack on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, Indian officials need be asking one key question: why? After all, despite the fact that India has voted against Iran twice at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), New Delhi has seemingly continued to have friendly relations with Tehran. And why would Iran choreograph an attack like this at a time when India is seriously engaged in trying to negotiate a complicated arrangement with Tehran to pay for oil it has bought? (India owes billions of dollars in lieu of oil it has already received over the years).
One suggestion has been that Iran didn’t take the West-led censure motions at the IAEA as well it seemed, and could in effect be punishing a supposed ally for challenging it in an international forum in this way.
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Regardless, the Indian media has been surprisingly quite on the sensitive question of Iranian involvement. The device used by the lone perpetrator was a magnetic bomb, a device used for targeted rather than mass killings. The incident is therefore a classic case of controlled aggression that Iran may well have believed would be unlikely to bring a halt to bilateral relations with India, if it is indeed Tehran was behind the attack.
India, though, may see things differently as the facts emerge.