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Iran, Israel trade blame over Bulgaria attack

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Iran's UN envoy has accused Israel of plotting and carrying out a suicide bomb attack on a bus in Bulgaria a week ago in which five Israeli tourists were killed.

"It's amazing that just a few minutes after the terrorist attack, Israeli officials announced that Iran was behind it," Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East on Wednesday.

A suicide bomber blew up the bus in a car park at Burgas airport, a popular gateway for tourists visiting Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, killing himself, the Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian bus driver and wounding more than 30 people.

Israel has accused Iran and the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah of the bombing. Iran has denied the accusations.

"We have never and will not engage in such a despicable attempt on ... innocent people.

"Such terrorist operation could only be planned and carried out by the same regime whose short history is full of state terrorism operations and assassinations aimed implicating others for narrow political gains," Khazaee said. 

He said he could provide many examples showing that Israel "killed its own citizens and innocent Jewish people during the last couple of decades in order to blame others."

"Iran is a victim of such operations and the assassinations of Iran's nuclear scientists are fresh cases in our mind," he said.

Tehran claims Israel's Mossad spy agency has been behind the slayings of at least five nuclear scientists since 2010, as well as other clandestine operations such as planting powerful computer viruses.

Israel's UN Ambassador Haim Waxman said Iran's fingerprints were all over the bomb attack in Bulgaria, as well as dozens of other plots in recent months around the world.

"These comments are appalling, but not surprising from the same government that says the 9/11 attack was a conspiracy theory and denies the Holocaust," Waxman said in a statement.

"The time has come for the world to put an end to this campaign of terror, once and for all," Waxman said.

Waxman also blamed Iran and Hezbollah for terrorist attacks and attempted attacks in recent months in India, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Kenya, Turkey and Cyprus that targeted Israelis.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said on Tuesday that a sophisticated group of conspirators was involved in the bombing. He did not give any nationalities of those believed to be responsible.


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