Intel official claims Mossad was behind Iran missile depot blast

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A Western intelligence official has told Time magazine that an Israeli spy agency was behind a weekend blast at an Iranian missile depot, which killed at least 17 people. The government of Iran claims that the powerful explosion, which wrecked a heavily guarded base belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, was an accident, caused during the transport of munitions. But Time quotes an unnamed “Western intelligence source”, as saying that the blast was a deliberate act of sabotage carried out by agents of the Mossad, Israel’s primary covert operations agency. The source urged Time not to “believe the Iranians that it was an accident”, and added that the operation was part of an ongoing covert action effort to impede Iran’s nuclear program, saying characteristically that “there are more bullets in the magazine”. The base, located approximately 25 miles west of Iranian capital Tehran, is reported to house several of Iran’s Shahab-3 long-range missiles, with an alleged reach of up to 2,000 miles. The blast was reported to have been powerful enough as to have been audible across Tehran itself. The victims of the blast included Major General Hassan Moqqadam, described by Iran’s state media as the “founder of Iran’s missile program” and a foremost pioneer in the country’s missile development after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The death of Moqqadam, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, was so important that his funeral was attended by none other than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. Although there are rumors in Iran about the possible role of the Mossad in the blast, Iranian state media uniformly dismiss claims of Israeli involvement as “fabrications”. One state-run news agency, Press TV, quotes Lt General Ramezan Sharif, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps public relations department, who dismisses allegations of sabotage. Intriguingly, however, Sharif adds that “investigations to determine the main cause of the incident are underway”.

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