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Israeli embassy in New Delhi said on high alert amid ‘serious’ fear of Iran attack

Security measures tightened, surrounding streets patrolled closely as site is ‘likely target’ for militias backed by Tehran, says report in opposition Iranian news channel

Police cordon off an area near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, on January 29, 2021. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP)
Police cordon off an area near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, on January 29, 2021. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP)

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi has been on high alert in recent weeks amid “serious” fears of a possible terror attack by Iran-backed perpetrators, according to a report Saturday by a London-based news channel affiliated with the Iranian opposition that was picked up by Hebrew-language media.

Security measures have been tightened in areas surrounding the embassy in the Indian capital and nearby streets have been outfitted with surveillance cameras and subject to increased security patrols, according to the report in Iran International.

The Persian-language TV channel described the security alerts as “serious” and cited an unnamed Israeli source who said the embassy in New Delhi has become one of several “likely targets” for Iran-affiliated militias.

The source also said Indian police and counter-terror forces recently conducted a security drill to prepare for a possible attack where streets around the diplomatic mission were blocked, and gunfire and explosions could be heard.

The news came a week after the same news outlet reported that Israel’s Mossad spy agency foiled a recent Iranian attempt to assassinate an Israeli diplomat working at the consulate in Istanbul.

Iran International said that in addition to the Israeli worker at the consulate, an American general stationed in Germany and a journalist in France were also targeted in the plot.

Last year, a blast outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi damaged cars but caused no injuries, in an attack India has said was carried out by the Quds Force branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

A letter found close to the scene of the blast was a death threat to the Israeli ambassador that warned he was being constantly being watched and vowed to avenge the deaths of “martyrs” Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander who was killed in a January 2020 United States drone strike; Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top Iraqi militia commander who was killed along with Soleimani; and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s nuclear program, killed in a November 2020 attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.

National Security Guard soldiers inspect the site of a blast near the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi, India, on January 30, 2021. (Dinesh Joshi/AP)

The handwritten note, in English, but riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, was addressed to the then-Israeli ambassador to India, Ron Malka, and referred to him as a “terrorist of the terrorist nation.” It claimed to be from the “India Hizbollah,” a group that was not previously known. Lebanese Hezbollah is an Iran-backed terror organization that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

In February 2012, the wife of the Israeli military attaché was injured in a car bomb attack in New Delhi. Indian police concluded that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was behind that attack.

Indian police forensics experts investigating the scene after an explosion tore through a car belonging to the Israel Embassy in New Delhi, India (photo credit: AP/Kevin Frayer/File)
Indian police forensics experts investigating the scene after an explosion tore through a car belonging to the Israel Embassy in New Delhi, India (photo credit: AP/Kevin Frayer/File)

It was part of a series of attempted attacks against Israeli targets around the world attributed to Iran during that period. The same day as the 2012 blast, a bomb was discovered on an Israeli diplomat’s car in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The next day, three Iranians accidentally blew up their house in Thailand. The men, who were never charged with terrorism, were freed in 2020 as Iran released Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert who was imprisoned for more than two years on spying charges.

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