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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Iran believes Mossad behind Saturday's missile plant explosion

Britain's Guardian reported on its website late Tuesday night that Iran believes that the Mossad was responsible for Saturday's explosion at a missile plant outside Tehran in which Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the head of Iran's missile program, was killed.
The official account insisted the blast was an accident, but a source with close links to Iran's clerical regime blamed it on an operation by the Mossad, bolstering other reports of involvement by Israel's intelligence and special operations organisation that were attributed to western intelligence services.

If true, the blast would mark a dramatic escalation in a shadow war over the Iranian nuclear programme.

Moghaddam was an engineer by profession, reported to have been trained in ballistic science by China and North Korea. Mostafa Izadi, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, and a close friend, said in his obituary: "Since 1984 he pioneered the IRGC's ground to ground missile system ... the work which has so frightened the world's imperialist powers and the Zionist regime today."

At yesterday's funeral, Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the IRGC, echoed those sentiments in his eulogy. He declared: "Martyr Moghaddam was the main architect of the Revolutionary Guards' cannon and missile power and the founder of the deterrent power of our country."

Moghaddam's violent death, coming in the wake of a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists on the streets of Tehran and rising tensions over Iran's nuclear and missile programmes, raised questions about whether the explosion was deliberate sabotage and the latest, bloodiest blow in a covert war.

Iran had blamed the killings of three scientists in the past two years on Israel, but on this occasion, the IRGC public relations department was quick to rule out sabotage while at the same time saying that the investigation into the incident had not been completed.

Speaking to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, however, a former director of an Iranian state-run organisation with close links to the regime, said: "I believe that Saturday's explosion was part of the covert war against Iran, led by Israel."

The former official compared Saturday's incident to a similar blast in October 2010 at an IRGC missile base near the city of Khorramabad. "I have information that both these incidents were the work of sabotage by agents of Israel, aimed at halting Iran's missile programme," he said.

The bases in both cases housed Iran's Shahab-3 missiles, based on a North Korean design. An upgraded variant was said to have a range of 1,200 miles, which would allow it to reach Israel....

The official account of Saturday's blast said it had taken place in an arms depot when munitions were being moved. Other reports said a Shahab-3 detonated while Moghaddam was overseeing its redeployment. Witnesses spoke of hearing one giant blast rather than a series of detonations which might be expected from a blaze in a munitions store.

Time magazine also cited a "western intelligence source" as saying the Mossad was behind the blast and that many more would follow. "There are more bullets in the magazine," the source said.

Western officials would not comment on the claims, but would not rule out Israeli involvement.

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At 5:14 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Where are the Chinese learning "ballistic science"? From foreign exchange programs at U.S. universities and positions at U.S. companies?

At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel may or may not adopt an air campaign against Iran's nukes--but they already have a ground game in progress.

At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, those Chinese are plenty smart. When you have a population of 1.3 billion hard working folks, once you pass through the tipping point of escaping Malthusian pressures there's a huge base of "human capital". But for sure, like squirrels they are aggressive acquirers of just the right acorns.


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