A little over two weeks ago, we reported on a massive explosion inside an Iranian military base near the capital, Tehran.
At the time, the semi-official Fars news agency issued a statement by the Revolutionary Guards which said the blast happened in an arsenal at a base in Bidganeh, inside a Revolutionary Guards weapons depot near the city of Karaj when weapons were being moved.
Apparently, a large part of an ammunition depot exploded killing several people and injuring many more.
There have been occasional unexplained explosions in Iran before.
With another explosion today rocking the Iranian city of Isfahan in the vicinity of which there are nuclear facilities —Haaretz.com calls Isfahan “home to key nuclear facility” — such explosions could be called more than “occasional” and give rise to all kinds of speculation as to why and who is behind them. The Guardian UK refers to Isfahan as being home to Iran’s uranium conversion facility.
There has already been speculation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuz is considering ordering strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites, in the hope of delaying or destroying its nuclear program.
Today, according to Haaretz.com, “a top Israeli security official said that the recent explosion that rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran could delay or stop further Iranian surface-to-surface missile development.”
Conflicting reports have emerged from Iran over an explosion heard in the central city of Isfahan, close to the country’s sensitive nuclear facilities.
Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency quoted a judiciary official in Isfahan, saying that an explosion had been heard.
“We heard a sound similar to that of an explosion but we have received no reports about its causes and the consequences so far,” said Gholamreza Ansari, in quotes carried by Isna. He said the explosion did not appear to be of any significance.
According to Rajanews, a website affiliated to the country’s elite revolutionary guards, the governor of Isfahan, Alireza Zaker-Isfahani, said the blast was part of a military exercise in the north-east of the city.
Zaker-Isfanai denied reports that the explosion was related to the nuclear facilities, situated in the same area of the city. “There is no such a thing, the sound of the explosion was from the military exercise,” he said.
Several residents of Isfahan told the Guardian that they had heard a loud blast. One said that it rattled the windows of their home.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.