GOP Committee Chairs Blame Iran and Hezbollah For Attack On Israeli Tourists in Bulgaria
The chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers (R-MI), has publicly blamed Iran and Hezbollah for the deadly July 18 attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Rogers is the highest ranking official to lay the blame at Iran and Hezbollah, though there is no evidence available to the public that points to that conclusion.
“I believe there were certainly elements of Hezbollah [involved] and I believe it was under the direction of their masters in Iran,” Rogers told The Hill in an interview. “I think the president needs to call Iran on the carpet very publicly and tell them what we know.”
But the Obama administration has yet to confirm both Rogers’ and Israel’s claims of Iranian and Hezbollah involvement in the attack, which occurred at an airport popular with Israeli tourists. While anonymous US officials have told media outlets that Iran and Hezbollah were involved, publicly the administration has stayed cautious. White House press secretary Jay Carney refused to blame Iran directly last Friday at a press conference.
The Bulgaria bombing killed 7 Israeli tourists, and was carried out by what Bulgaria’s prime minister called an “exceptionally experienced” group of attackers.
Fears of a war between Israel and Iran have been heightened since the attack. Israel has been leading the charge against Iran’s nuclear program, and has pointed to the Bulgaria attack as a reason why Iran’s nuclear program should be shut down. As Rogers' remarks show, the GOP has shown no qualms about helping Israel establish a case for war before all the evidence has come out.
The Hillalso reports that Peter King, the Republican chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has echoed Rogers’ claims that Iran and Hezbollah carried out the bombings.