“There is every reason to believe Iran's hand in attack on diplomat”

While expressing satisfaction with investigations into the recent attack on its nationals, Israel has dampened reports about imminent supply of gas to India by pointing out that the policy for its domestic and export use is still being framed.

Speaking to a select group of journalists after winding up his engagements here on Wednesday, Israeli Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau said he had sought sharing of information about the attack on its nationals which is a “precondition to combating terrorism all over the world.”

“If India needs assistance, we will be glad to do so as there is every causal reason to believe from our sources that it was Iran's long arm that committed this act,” Mr. Landau said, while giving his account of the conversation with National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon.

Concern expressed

Mr. Landau also conveyed his “deep concern” that Iran must not be allowed to go scot-free. “Iran must be made to understand the price they will have to pay or they will only continue with these acts. It has no inhibitions in promoting political goals through means they think might be useful.”

“India suffers from terrorism and is exposed to the same threats as Israel. This is a rough neighbourhood and the message should be simple — this doesn't pay,” he added.

Energy supplies

On India sourcing Israeli gas, the Minister said Tel Aviv had yet to frame a policy on using gas from the larger Leviathan and the smaller Tamar gas fields. In case exportable surplus is available, India will definitely be kept in the picture. But Israel will be looking at allocating the first exportable surplus to East Europe in order to remain in step with the larger Western game plan of loosening the Russian hold on energy supplies to these countries.

“We didn't make any clear offer…We are in the process of shaping the policy…We would like energy ties with India,” he observed.

He disputed Lebanon's claims that some portions of the gas fields fell in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and claimed Beirut “all of a sudden woke up” after the hydrocarbons potential became evident. As for dialogue with Lebanon, Mr. Landau said, “not everyone is willing to talk…There is give and take between civilised nations, but we are in the Middle-East.”

He met several Ministers during his stay here, including S.M. Krishna, Jairam Ramesh, Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

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