Donald Trump may have been referring to bombing of the car of the wife of an Israeli diplomat in 2012 (Photo Credit: PTI File)
India has been at its diplomatic best in response to the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US strike advocating restraint and calling for de-esclation of tensions in the region. However, India may found itself drawn into the geo-political tussle after US President claimed that the Soleimani had contributed "to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London."
General Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force and architect of its regional security apparatus, was killed following a US airstrike at Baghdad's international airport on Friday. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force.
President Donald Trump on Friday defended the killing of Soleimani saying his "reign of terror is over".
"Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today we remember and honour the victims of Soleimani's many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over," he said.
While Trump did not elaborate or specify the plots in India, he may have been referring to a 2012 bombing of the car of the wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi. Tal Yehoshua Korene was on her way to collect their children from school. Four people, including Korene, were injured in the attack.
It was widely reported that the attack was carried out by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. It was said to be part of a serial bombing sequence targeting Israelis in various countries, including Thailand and Georgia, to avenge Israeli attacks on Iranian scientists.
Trump alleged that Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years.
"The recent attacks on US targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four American servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani," Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Trump said what the United States did yesterday should have been done a long ago.
"A lot of lives would have been saved. Just recently Soleimani led the brutal repression of protesters in Iran, where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government," he said.
Amidst escalation of tension with Iran, Trump claimed Soleimani's killing will not lead to war.
"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war. I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change.
"However, the Iranian regime's aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilise its neighbours, must end now. The future belongs to the people of Iran, those who seek peaceful co-existence and cooperation, not the terrorist warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad," he said.
Trump said at his direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the "number one terrorist" anywhere in the world.
"Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him."
(With PTI Inputs)