February 15, 2012 / 9:40 AM / 6 years ago

Iran denies role in Thai blasts

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has denied any role in bomb blasts in Thailand attributed to a man with an Iranian passport and accused Israel of being behind the explosions, state TV quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying on Wednesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that elements of the Zionist regime are responsible for these terrorist acts,” Mehmanparast said, referring to Israel.

A man with an Iranian passport lost a leg when a bomb he was carrying went off in Bangkok on Tuesday.

A day earlier, bomb attacks targeted Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia. Israel accused Iran and its Lebanese ally, the Islamic movement Hezbollah, of being behind those attacks. Iran denied involvement.

Tensions between Iran and its arch-enemy Israel are on the increase over Iran’s nuclear research program, which the West fears is designed to produce nuclear weapons, an accusation Iran denies.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the attack in Bangkok proved once again that the Islamic state and its proxies continue to “perpetrate terror.”

Thai investigators believe they have found a link between this week’s bomb blasts in Bangkok and New Delhi. In a third incident, a bomb apparently targeting Israeli embassy staff in the Georgian capital Tbilisi failed to explode.

A senior Thai security official said the explosives used in India and Thailand had both used the same “magnetic sheets.”

The use of “sticky” magnetic car bombs echoes a technique to assassinate an Iranian scientist in Tehran last month. No one has claimed responsibility for that, although Iran was quick to accuse agents of Israel and its U.S. ally.

Mehmanparast accused Israel of trying to harm “the friendly and historic relations between Iran and Thailand” and said Iran was prepared to cooperate with the Thai government to shed light on the incidents.

“The main goal of the Zionist regime (in accusing Iran over blasts) is to conceal its real essence in carrying out terrorist acts particularly assassinating Iran’s scientists,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Mehmanparast as saying.

Reporting By Mitra Amiri; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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