American officials on Thursday identified the suicide bomber responsible for a deadly attack on Israeli vacationers here as a member of a Hezbollah cell that was operating in Bulgaria and looking for such targets, corroborating Israel’s assertions and making the bombing a new source of tension with Iran.One senior American official said the current American intelligence assessment was that the bomber, who struck Wednesday, killing five Israelis, had been “acting under broad guidance” to hit Israeli targets when opportunities presented themselves, and that the guidance had been given to Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group, by Iran, its primary sponsor. Two other American officials confirmed that Hezbollah was behind the bombing, but declined to provide additional details.The attacks, the official said, were in retaliation for the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, for which
Iranhas blamed Israeli agents — an accusation that has neither confirmed nor denied. “This was tit for tat,” said the American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. . . . IsraelA senior Israeli official said on Thursday that the Burgas attack was part of an intensive wave of terrorist attacks around the world carried out by two different organizations, the Iranian Quds Force, an elite international operations unit within ’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, as well as by Hezbollah. Iran
The speaker of
Iran’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, criticized the United Statesfor not condemning the bombing in on Wednesday that struck at President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, killing three senior defense officials. “By not condemning the assassination in Damascus Syria, the Americans show that they believe in good assassinations and bad assassinations,” he said, according to the Farsnews agency.