Delhi Police team in Iran for probe into diplomat attack case

A two-member Delhi Police team is in Iran to seek cooperation from its counterpart in the probe into the February 13 bombing of an Israeli embassy's vehicle here in which a woman diplomat was seriously injured.

The team, cleared after an intense discussion between External Affairs Ministry and Delhi Police, has sought details about Houshang Afshar, alleged to be the bomber in the case, official sources said.

The sources said the External Affairs Ministry wanted some senior official to visit Tehran keeping in view the relations between the two countries, but Delhi Police stuck to its stand of sending the Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Yadav and Inspector Hriday Bhushan as they were the supervising and investigating officers respectively in the case.

Finally, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had to step in and sort out the matter and Yadav and Bhushan were sent to Tehran along with the passport details of Afshar and other three Iranian nationals -- Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, Saeid Moradi and Mohammad Kharzei, the sources said.

The team was sent recently after Tehran conveyed its willingness to assist the Delhi Police in its probe after the alleged role of four Iranian nationals surfaced in the bombing that took place barely 500 metres from the high-security Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.

Delhi Police has named Afshar as the main accused who had planted a bomb on the vehicle of Israeli diplomat Tal Yeshua on February 13 that left the diplomat injured.

The police team is also armed with the findings of the probe by Malaysian authorities, according to which Afshar, after fleeing from India on February 13, had taken a connecting flight to Tehran from Kaula Lumpur airport on the next day, the sources said. 

The Delhi police also wants to corroborate the statement of Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, an Urdu journalist, arrested for allegedly being a part of larger conspiracy in the bombing incident as the police claimed that he named some Iranian nationals as his handlers during the interrogation.

The phone book of Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, who was arrested by Malaysian police from Kuala Lumpur airport, led sleuths from external and internal security agencies to Kazmi after which the entire conspiracy started unravelling.

Letters Rogatory has been sent to authorities in Thailand for sharing the interrogation reports of two Iranian nationals -- Saeid Moradi and Mohammad Kharzei (both part of botched up plan in Bangkok) -- as one of them was allegedly  part of the Indian operations as well and had visited New Delhi last year, the sources said.

India has secured an Interpol Red Corner warrant against all the four. The explosive used for the bombing here was TNT -- Trinitrotoluene, the Central Forensic Sciences (CFSL) had said in its report two months after the incident in which a woman diplomat was seriously injured.

According to sources, evidence collected so far which includes a statement of Kazmi to Delhi Police, indicates that the spate of attacks planned in New Delhi, Bangkok and Georgia was to take revenge for attacks on Iranian scientists since 2009.

Four Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in attacks since 2009. 

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