shibab 3 missile 311.
(photo credit: AP)
An explosion that ripped through an Revolutionary Guards Corps. base last week
in western Iran, killing 18 soldiers, has attracted international attention
because the site is reportedly used to store medium-range Shihab-3
According to the Global Security website, the Imam Ali base is
situated in a mountain pass and is run by the Al-Hadid Brigade, a unit of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Command Missile Force.
launching sites are mobile and hidden in the heights,” the website
The blast, which occurred on Wednesday, one day before President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon for a two-day visit, is noteworthy
because it occurred at the missile storage site, Iran analyst Professor Raymond
Tanter, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, told The Jerusalem Post
Tanter, who served on the National Security Council staff
for the Reagan-Bush White House, added, however, that “the bombing may have to
do less with international intrigue than ethnic unrest against Persian
domination of minorities in Iran. The base is close to Iran’s Kurdistan region,
where there have been several earlier attacks against IRGC
Iranian authorities said that the blast was caused by a fire that broke out in an ammunition storage room.
“To admit inability to
control the Iranian Kurdish minority, seven percent of the Iranian population,
would be an invitation to other minorities to sense Teheran is weak and to
increase their own assaults against the regime,” Tanter said.
soldiers were hospitalized in Khoramabad, 500 km. southwest of Teheran, after
the blast, Iranian state media said last week.
The region has seen
several attacks in recent months by Kurds disgruntled with the central