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Openly armed Hezbollah members spotted near the Israeli border..(Photo by: Courtesy)
Did Iran respond to alleged Israeli sabotage through Hezbollah?
Iran's reported message: Wednesday’s attack in the Golan Heights “was a warning to Israel that its return to covert operations against Iranian targets would result in war with Hezbollah
Kuwait’s newspaper, Al-Rai, reports that last Sunday’s massive explosion at Iran’s Parchin military base was, in fact, an act of sabotage by a “foreign country.” It was an operation to destroy triggers for unconventional warheads.

In retaliation, Al-Rai says, Iran instructed Hezbollah to carry out last Wednesday’s attack in Israel’s Golan Heights. Three IDF soldiers were wounded in that attack in what appears to have been strategically ignited IEDs – Improvised Exploding Devices.

Hezbollah quickly claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s assault on the troops. Contrary to Al-Rai’s report, however, Hezbollah said the motive for doing so was in revenge for the death of an operative, Hassan Haider, killed five weeks ago.

According to Hezbollah, an Israeli drone killed Haider on 5 September 2014.

Al-Rai’s Arabic article on the matter is titled, “Did Iran respond to the bombing of Parchin through Hezbollah?” In support of its report that Iran did this very thing, the newspaper cites “confirmed, high-level European diplomatic sources” in Washington.

According to the article, Iran concluded that Sunday’s explosion at Parchin military base near Tehran was an act of sabotage. This “prompted Tehran to instruct Hezbollah to target an Israeli patrol in the area of Shaba Farms [Mount Dov].”

Al-Rai further reports that, according to its unnamed European diplomatic sources, Sunday’s explosion in Iran “may have thwarted Iran’s latest experiments to arm unconventional warheads.”

In response, the newspaper reports, Iran sent Israel a message.

Wednesday’s attack in the Golan Heights “was a warning to Israel that its return to covert operations against Iranian targets would result in war with Hezbollah.”

Meanwhile respected military publications, Israel Defense and Jane’s Defense Weekly, have published satellite images that show the destruction of Sunday’s explosion at the Parchin military base in Iran.

According to Jane’s, satellite imagery shows that an explosion occurred “at one of the facility’s internal complexes. Comparisons with imagery from February and August 2014 indicate that two buildings were either completely destroyed in the incident or so badly damaged that they were razed the following day.”

Moreover, there are signs “suggesting chemicals or explosives [were] detonated as a result of the event. Mysteriously, a large building just to the east of the two destroyed structures appears undamaged.”

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, has said that his knowledge of events in Iran comes from media reports.

As for the narrative reported by Kuwait’s newspaper Al-Rai, there has been no public comment by Israeli officials to-date.

The writer is a commentator or Middle East affairs.
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