Thai officials say Tuesday's Bangkok blasts were meant for Israeli diplomats
The Iranian suspects in the Bangkok blasts were planning to attack Israeli diplomats, a senior Thai intelligence official said. Earlier blasts in India and Georgia also targeted Israelis this week.
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In a first since a bomb went off in Thailand and India within days of one another, Thai authorities have joined Israel and pointed to Iran. A top police official said several Iranian nationals planned to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Bangkok as tensions between Israel and Iran grow over Tehran's nuclear program.
As the Thai police announced they were searching for a fifth suspect in the botched terrorism plot in Bangkok, the statement by Thailand's top policeman was the first confirmation by local officials that the Iranians was plotting attacks in Thailand.
Israel has been strongly accusing Iran of being behind the plot in Thailand as well as two other attempts in India and the former Soviet republic of Georgia this week, while Iran has denied any involvement.
The plot in Bangkok was discovered Tuesday only by accident, when explosives stored in a house occupied by several Iranian men blew up by mistake, according to the Associated Press.
Iran, whose leaders had threatened to retaliate for Israel's alleged car-bomb assassination of several of its nuclear scientists, denied involvement in the attacks Monday and Tuesday, including a bomb that failed to explode in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Iran blamed them on Israel, according to Reuters.
Some 14 governments have issued travel warnings to their citizens visiting Thailand, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said.
Thailand and Israel are both stepping up security measures, according to authorities in both countries.
Terror cells are "active" in India, a senior Israeli minister has said, underlining that the recent attack on a diplomat in New Delhi should spur the two nations to step up counter-terrorism cooperation.
"The incident (attack on an Israeli diplomat in Delhi on Monday) makes it clear that there are terrorist cells in India. They have targeted recently us but in the past they have also targeted Indian citizens and others.
What one can see here is a growing joint interest of India and Israel, who are both exposed to terror threats," Israel's Minister for Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau said ahead of his three day trip to India next week. Landau had earlier served as public security minister.
Landau's comment came as the Israeli Foreign Ministry said it had stepped up security for its diplomats posted overseas.