India’s wakeup call – The attempted attack on the Israeli embassy

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It is still unclear what really happened in the attempted attack in India, Which targeted the Israeli embassy in New-Delhi, but the letter left at the scene (that mentioned Qasem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh) as well as the target of the attack itself could indicate that Iran was involved in this attack. If so, it should not come as a surprise. In recent years, Iran has increased its influence over the country’s Shiite minority, with an emphasis on the Kashmir region, a move that is helping Iran to build its operative capabilities in this region.

It is important to remember that the Iranian regime, ever since the Islamic revolution that occurred in 1979, is trying to export its revolutionary ideology in an effort to establish Iranian hegemony in the Islamic world. Iran sees itself as a defender of the Shia Muslims all over the world, and it has an Obligation to defend this minority at any cost. In order to do so, Iran has offered financial and ideological support to Shia Minorities all across the world, including Pakistan and India.

In the past, Tehran has been trying to avoid antagonizing the government in New Delhi. Iran and India have even significantly improved their relations in recent years and today both countries are involved in strategic projects like the building of Chabahar port. But India’s decision to eliminate Kashmiri autonomy and impose martial law on the Muslim-majority region changed Iran view towards India. Iran blamed India for this crisis and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei even stated that the Muslim world should openly support the people of Kashmir.

Tehran is still targeting the hearts and minds of Indian-controlled Kashmir’s 1.4 million Shia Muslims, with the hope that it will be able to use this support for its operational needs. It seems that the tension between India and Iran only encouraged Tehran to strengthen its relations with the Shia minority in India, especially in the Kashmir region. Analysis of Social media accounts used by Shia minorities in Kashmir region indicates the strong connection between the “mothership” (Iran) and Its followers in this region.

If unit 400 of Quds force was really in charge of the attempted attack against the Israeli embassy then there is a high probability that like the attempted attack in India in 2012, The Iranian used  local cells that helped them carry out this attack. If so, this incident is a wakeup call for the Indian government to increase its understanding regarding the Iranian meddling in its own territory including the connection between radical Shia groups operating in Pakistan (and supported by Tehran) and Shia elements in India. By doing so and operating against these networks, India can prevent Tehran from building terror infrastructure in its territory. It is obvious that India is seeking to preserve its good relations with Tehran but turning a blind eye from the Iranian Activity in India will only encourage Tehran to increase its support to these cells that are putting Indian interests in jeopardy.

This incident is also a wakeup call to the Israeli intelligence and other intelligence services around the world to increase their surveillance on Quds force activity not only in the Middle east but other parts of the world like Pakistan and India, a move that will help them foil possible attacks in the future.

About the Author
23+ years of experience in 8200, IDI Research Division and the Israeli Embassy in the US. Retired from the Israel Defense Forces Senior fellow at the Abba Eban institute.
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