(photo credit: REUTERS)
The explosion at the Parchin military complex constitutes a failure for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and for Tehran's military establishment, an exiled Iranian opposition figure said Tuesday.
Two workers were killed in an explosion that took place at a military explosives factory southeast of Tehran, near the suspected nuclear reactor in Parchin, IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, reported Monday.
Dr Alireza Nourizadeh, a senior researcher and director at the London-based Centre for Arab & Iranian Studies told Army Radio that journalists and military sources in Iran have told him that they believe the explosion was an act of sabotage.
"I think Parchin is the most important military compound in Iran and the most guarded military compound. Therefore its a failure for the Revolutionary Guards and for the military establishment," Nourizadeh said.
The Iranian dissident said that the explosion was so loud that people in east Tehran "thought it was a bombardment."
Nourizadeh said that, while the state-controlled media was trying to portray the explosion as "something simple that happened during an experiment or something," he believes, based on his sources, that they are covering up what really happened, as well as withholding the actual number of deaths that occurred in the blast.
He said that the man on the street in Iran is convinced that Israel is behind any explosion of this kind at a sensitive location.
Parchin is a controversial military base where Israel and the International Atomic Energy Agency suspect the Islamic Republic is attempting to develop a nuclear explosive device. IAEA inspectors have not been permitted to enter the site since 2005.
In response to speculation that Israel may have been behind the blast, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Israel has no idea what happened at Parchin and was getting information on the explosion from media reports.Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.