Iran is trying to put a positive spin on things, and turn a disaster into an occasion for saber rattling. Hey, when life hands you lemons… “Iran: Explosion occurred during military research,” by Ramin Mostafavi for Reuters, November 16:
TEHRAN (Reuters) – A massive explosion that killed 17 troops including an officer regarded as the architect of Iran’s missile defences last week took place during research on weapons that could strike Israel, the Islamic Republic’s military chief said on Wednesday.
Iran has insisted the blast at a military base on Saturday, which rattled window and nerves in parts of the capital Tehran 45 km (28 miles) away, was an accident and denied speculation of possible sabotage by Israel or the United States.
“This recent incident and blast has no link to Israel or America but the outcome of the research, in which the incident happened as a consequence, could be a strong smack to the mouth of Israel and its occupying regime,” armed forces chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.
But first, you have to keep it from detonating inside Iran.
Asked on Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday about the scope of damage from the blast, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he did not know, but added: “May there be more like it.” There was no indication that the explosion was a deliberate attack.
Iranian officials had previously said the accident happened while munitions were being moved at the base, without linking it directly to weapons research.
Brigadier General Hassan Moqaddam, hailed as the founder of Iran’s missile program, was the most senior casualty.
Iran already has missiles, the Shahab-3, first tested in 1998, that it says could reach Israel, which has threatened to strike Iran’s nuclear sites if diplomacy and pressure fail to stop it getting the bomb….