Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beirut: Suicide bombing followed by car bomb kill at least 25 in embassy that also serves as a Hezbollah headquarters

Iran blames Israel; Syria blames Israel and Saudi Arabia.
BEIRUT: Iran’s foreign minister voiced concern over the two deadly suicide bombings that targeted Tehran’s embassy in Beirut Tuesday, saying the attack should be an “alarm for all of us.”

"The tragedy today ... should be an alarm for all of us that we need to deal with and unless we deal with it seriously, it will engulf all of us," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Rome after talks with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino.

Earlier Tuesday, the spokesperson for Iran's Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Israel of being behind the attack outside Tehran’s embassy in Lebanon.

“[The bombings are] an inhumane crime and spiteful act done by Zionists [Israelis] and their mercenaries," Marzieh Afkham told IRNA news agency.

The morning attack, carried out by two suicide bombers in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Bir Hasan, killed at least 25 people including an Iranian diplomat, security sources told The Daily Star.

The Syrian government, one of Iran’s main allies in the region, also deplored the attack.

"The Syrian government firmly condemns the terrorist attacks carried out near the Iranian embassy in Beirut," according to Syria’s state television.

“The odor of petrodollars is rising from the attacks in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq,” the agency added. Syria accuses Gulf states including oil-rich Saudi Arabia of funding and arming rebels seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Speaking to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television, Syria's Information Minister Omran Zoubi also accused Saudi and Israeli intelligence of being behind the attack.