“May there be more like it,” was all Defense Minister Ehud Barak had to say on
Sunday when asked about the mysterious explosion that rocked an Iranian missile
base on Saturday, killing 17 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards
Iranian news sites identified one of the dead as Brig.- Gen.
Hassan Moghadam, a top IRGC officer responsible for the development of some of
Iran’s most advanced weapons. The explosion took place inside a base called Bid
Ganeh, west of Tehran, which is reportedly used to manufacture and store Iran’s
long-range ballistic missiles.RELATED:New ‘Stuxnet-related’ virus may be set for cyber-attackIran: Building nuclear bomb would be 'strategic mistake'
The cause of the explosion was unknown and
Iran claimed it occurred when soldiers were moving explosives between bases.
There was some speculation on Sunday that sabotage had caused the blast and
Israel was involved with the assistance of local Iranian opposition
Barak, interviewed by Army Radio, said he did not have details on
the blast except that there had been an explosion.
It was not the first
time that mysterious explosions struck in Iran. In recent years, a number of
scientists have been killed in car bombings and dozens of IRGC officers have
also been killed in various plane crashes.
In related news, Iranian
officials said they were investigating the death of Ahmad Rezaie, son of Mohsen
Rezaie, a senior Iranian conservative politician who ran for president in 2009.
Rezaie, the son, was found dead in a Dubai hotel on Sunday and while suicide
appears to be the cause of death, Iranian officials have raised suspicions of
foul play. Israel was accused of killing a senior Hamas terrorist in a Dubai
hotel in 2010.
The death of Rezaie was interesting due to the identity of
his father, who is wanted by Interpol for his alleged involvement in the 1994
bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85
people. He was head of the IRGC at the time of the bombing.
could have been caused also by Iranians. Rezaie left for the US in 1998, where
he openly criticized his father and the Islamic regime before returning home
five years later.
He left Iran again in 2009.
Also Sunday, Iran
admitted that some of its computer systems have been infected by a new
Stuxnet-like virus called Duqu. The virus was discovered several months ago and
is believed to be a more advanced version of the Stuxnet virus which attacked
Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility last year.
Stuxnet is believed to have
destroyed about 1,000 centrifuges at Natanz that were being used to enrich
Israel and the US have been accused of creating
Head of Iran’s civil defense branch Brig.-Gen. Gholamreza Jalali
told the official IRNA news agency that Duqu was discovered inside computer
systems but Iran had developed a way to contain and neutralize the
All facilities and equipment that were affected with this virus
have been cleaned, and the virus is under control, he said according to Tehran
Security software firm Symantec said in a report last month that
it was alerted by a research lab with international connections to a malicious
code that “appeared to be very similar to Stuxnet.” It was named Duqu because it
creates files with “DQ” in the prefix.
Security firms including Dell
Inc’s SecureWorks, Intel Corp’s McAfee, Kaspersky Lab and Symantec say they
found Duqu victims in Europe, Iran, Sudan and the US.
staff and Reuters contributed to this report.