Time’s correspondent in Jerusalem, Karl Vick, is reporting that Israel was responsible for the huge blast on Saturday at a Revolutionary Guard missile base, about 35 km west of Tehran. Vick quotes a western intelligence source as saying that Mossad carried out the sabotage attack, adding that more such attacks are to be expected –
“There are more bullets in the magazine.”
If true, it would be the most damaging blow to date in the covert war against Iran‘s nuclear weapons programme. It killed 17 Iranian revolutionary guardsmen, including the head of the missile programme, General Hasan Moghaddam, decribed in the Iranian press as “a pioneer” of Iran’s missile project [Farsi]. His official job description was head of the ‘self-sufficiency department” for munitions. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was at the funeral today.
Last week’s IAEA report [pdf] included a range of evidence that Iranian technicians had explored ways of making a warhead small enough to put on top of a Shahab-3 missile, which has a 2000 km range variant, the Shahab-4.
The base that was bombed was reported to be a storage site for Shahab-3 missiles, and the official media reported that the explosion took place when munitions were being moved. There was no explanation why General Moghaddam was present at the time.
Press TV quotes the head of the revolutionary guard public relations department, Lt General Ramezan Sharif, as ruling out sabotage, but then adding that an investigation into the cause of the blast is still underway.
Filed under: Featured, Global Crises, Islam At Stake, Mysteries, Road to 2012, Spy Game, World War III Tagged: | Ali Khamenei, Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, Israel, Mossad, Shahab-3, Tehran