After previously claiming that the mysterious explosion that took place on Saturday at a military base south of Tehran was an accident, the Iranians might have changed their minds.
A source close to Iran’s clerical regime told Britain’s The Guardian on Monday that the blast was a result of an operation by the Mossad, the Israeli international intelligence agency.
The source, a former director of an Iranian state-run organization with close links to the regime, spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity. He said, “I believe that Saturday’s explosion was part of the covert war against Iran, led by Israel.”
The former official compared the incident to a similar blast in October 2010 at a Revolutionary Guards 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 program,” he told The Guardian.
He did not specify whether the Iranian regime believes Israel is indeed behind the explosion despite its earlier claims that it was an accident.
Among the 17 people killed in the blast was Brigadier Hassan Moghadam, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards missile expert. Moghadam, who headed the Revolutionary Guards missile development, was a researcher at a Tehran university and headed the “Jihad Self-Reliance” unit.
On Monday, TIME Magazinealso suggested that the Mossad may be behind the explosion, quoting in a report an official Western intelligence who said, “Don't believe the Iranians that it was an accident.”
In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak would not speculate about the cause and nature of the explosion. When asked about the extent of the damage caused by the explosion he replied, “I do not know, but may there be more such explosions.”