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You are here News International Intel Source: Israel Behind Deadly Explosion at Iran Missile Base

Intel Source: Israel Behind Deadly Explosion at Iran Missile Base

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Israel behind Iran exposionIsraeli newspapers on Sunday were thick with innuendo, the front pages of the three largest dailies dominated by variations on the headline "Mysterious Explosion in Iranian Missile Base."

Turn the page, and the mystery is answered with a wink. "Who is Responsible for Attacks on the Iranian Army?" asks Ma'ariv, and the paper lists without further comment a half-dozen other violent setbacks to Iran's nuclear and military nexus. For Israeli readers, the coy implication is that their own government was behind Saturday's massive blast just outside Tehran.

It is an assumption a Western intelligence source insists is correct: The Mossad — the Israeli agency charged with covert operations — did it. "Don't believe the Iranians that it was an accident," the official tells TIME, adding that other sabotage is being planned to impede the Iranian ability to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon. "There are more bullets in the magazine," the official says.

The powerful blast or series of blasts — reports described an initial explosion followed by a much larger one — devastated a missile base in the gritty urban sprawl to the west of the Iranian capital. The base housed Shahab missiles, which, at their longest-range, can reach Israel. Last week's report from the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has experimented with removing the conventional warhead on the Shahab-3 and replacing it with one that would hold a nuclear device. Iran says the explosion was an accident that came while troops were transferring ammunition out of the depot "toward the appropriate site."

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