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Iran's government condemned the suicide bombing that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria yesterday.
"The Islamic republic, the biggest victim of terrorism, believes terrorism endangers the lives of innocents," stated Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast.
But Israel's leaders blame Iran for the attack. They say that the bomber was a Hezbollah agent acting at Iran's behest.
"The attack yesterday in Bulgaria was carried out by Hezbollah, the long arm of Iran," charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Perhaps. Iran does sponsor Hezbollah, and prominent Iranian clerics have called for retaliation against Israel for its suspected assassinations of several Iranian nuclear scientists. Israel also claims that Iran was behind two recent failed attempts to assassinate Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.
But the the victims on a bus in Bulgaria were tourists, not diplomats. They were not killed because they worked for or represented the Israeli government or military. They were not killed because they were involved in hostilities between Israel and Iran. They were not killed by mistake. They were killed because they were Jewish citizens of Israel.
Whether or not Iran was involved in the attack, its leaders either do not or pretend not to understand the difference.
Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran's Parliament, drew a parallel to the bomb that killed these tourists to the bomb that killed Syria's defense and security ministers.
"By not condemning the assassination in Syria," he argued, "the Americans show that they believe in good assassinations and bad assassinations."
He may be right that America's leaders believe in "good assassinations and bad assassinations," but that is irrelevant. The bomb in Bulgaria was not an assassination.
It was a massacre.