Blast in Iran kills missile expert; was Israel involved?


(JTA) — An explosion in an Iranian ammunition depot that killed a missile expert unleashed speculation of Israeli involvement.

At least 16 other Revolutionary Guard members were killed in Saturday’s explosion, which Iranian officials say was an accident. But no one is saying what Gen. Hasan Moghaddam, the father of Iran’s surface-to-surface missile systems and long-range missiles, was doing at the site at the time of the explosion.

Time Magazine Sunday cited an unnamed Western intelligence source as saying that Israel’s Mossad was behind the blast.

"Don’t believe the Iranians that it was an accident," the official told Time.

The official added that other sabotage is being planned to hamper Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. "There are more bullets in the magazine," the official said.

In an interview with Army Radio, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak refused to speculate on the cause of the blast, but he indicated that it would be desirable for there to be more such explosions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Iran’s advancing nuclear program on Sunday for the first time since the International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations nuclear watchdog, released its report last week.

“The international community must stop Iran’s race to arm itself with nuclear weapons, a race that endangers the peace of the entire world,” he said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, where ministers received a briefing on the report.

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