Coffin of Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jamejam Online/Ebrahim Norouzi)
The Mossad was behind the explosion on Saturday that killed 17 members of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, including Gen. Hassan Moghadam, the officer
responsible for the development of some of Iran’s most advanced ballistic
missiles, Time magazine reported Monday.
Israel has not issued an
official comment on the incident except for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who on
Sunday said he would like to see more explosions in Iran. Government officials
criticized Barak on Monday and said that like other cabinet ministers, he had
been asked to tone down the chatter on Iran.
Barak hopes there will be more explosions in Iran
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Last week, Barak also broke
with government policy, and in an interview with Israel Radio spoke about the
International Atomic Energy Agency report released on Tuesday and the fallout
Israel would face if it attacked the Islamic Republic. Israeli government policy
has been to stay quiet on the issue, to prevent the world from thinking the
nuclear threat is just against Israel.
“We need to remain quiet,” one
cited a Western intelligence source as saying the
Mossad was behind the explosion at the Iranian base on Saturday.
believe the Iranians that it was an accident,” the official
According to the magazine, the unnamed official also said
additional acts of sabotage were in the works as part of an effort to stop the
Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“There are more bullets in the
magazine,” the source was quoted as saying.
The cause of the explosion
was unknown and Iran claimed it occurred when soldiers were moving explosives
between bases. Barak, interviewed by Army Radio on Sunday, said he did not have
details except that there had been an explosion. “May there be more like it,” he
Israeli involvement in such an operation would seem unlikely due
to the difficulty it would encounter in infiltrating a military base like the
one where the explosion took place, and which is believed to be home to Iran’s
Shahab long-range ballistic missiles.
It is possible the Mossad, or
another Western intelligence agency, used a proxy to carry out the attack.
Israel and the US have been accused over the years of working together with
various Iranian opposition groups such as the People’s Mujahidin Organization of
Iran, otherwise known as MEK.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
attended the funerals of Moghadam and the 16 other Revolutionary Guards who died
in Saturday’s explosion.
“Martyr Moghadam was the main architect of the Revolutionary Guards’ cannon and missile power and the
founder of the deterrent power of our country,” Hossein Salami, the deputy head
of the Guards, said in a eulogy at the funeral, state broadcaster IRIB
A veteran of the 1980-88 Iran- Iraq War, Moghadam’s importance
was underlined by the appearance of Khamenei at his funeral and a personal visit
to his family by Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi to convey President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s condolences.Reuters contributed to this report.