Israel’s Foreign Ministry says it has stepped up security for diplomats posted overseas following a string of attempted attacks on Israeli personnel in Asia.
Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Thursday that Israel is taking “whatever measures are required” to allow its diplomats to continue working.
He declined to discuss what measures have been taken. But Israeli media have reported that diplomats in some countries have been ordered to work out of their homes and avoid travel to the local embassy.
Israel is accusing Iran of waging a campaign of state terror against Israeli targets abroad, including an explosion Monday in New Delhi that wounded a diplomat’s wife, a foiled bombing the same day in Georgia and a bungled attack by an Iranian man in Bangkok the following day.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Thursday accused Iran of “exaggerating” progress on its disputed nuclear program a day after Tehran unveiled what it said was its first domestically-produced 20-percent enriched uranium.
“The Iranians are continuing to progress but what they presented yesterday was a show. There are many things which have been presented in an exaggerated manner, partly to dissuade the world from going after them,” he told public radio by telephone from Tokyo.
His remarks were made a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled what was billed as Tehran's first domestically-produced, 20-percent enriched nuclear fuel for its research reactor.
He also said Tehran had installed another 3,000 centrifuges to increase its uranium enrichment abilities and was stepping up exploration and processing of uranium yellowcake.
“The Iranians are boasting of successes they have not achieved and they still have much to do to reach the second or third generation of centrifuges,” said Barak.
“The Iranians want to give the impression they were more advanced to create the impression that they have passed the ‘point of no return’ ̶ which is not true.”
Uranium enrichment is at the heart of an escalating dispute between Iran and the international community which fears that Iran's nuclear program has military objectives, despite denials from Tehran.
The fact that Iran had moved some of its enrichment facilities into an underground site was aimed at making it more difficult to carry out “surgical strikes” to halt it, Barak said.
In recent weeks, there has been feverish speculation that Israel was getting closer to mounting a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program, but last month, Barak said such a decision was “very far away.”