When there is an explosion in the Greater Tehran Area, and it turns out to have been at a Revolutionary Guards weapons depot, and it turns out to have killed 17, and one of those 17 turns out to be a general who is a “founder of the Guard’s surface-to-surface missile systems,” you wonder just how unlucky the Islamic Republic is. In fact, Time’s Karl Vick reports that the “accidental” combustion was Mossad’s doing, and that it took place not at a weapons depot but a missile base whose arsenal included Shahabs capable of reaching Israel.
It’s now a week after the IAEA’s damning report, which argued pretty strongly that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program, and Israel is endeavoring to make sure it not become last week’s news. Prime Minister Netanyahu insisted that Iran is closer even than “people think” to a bomb, and Israel is quietly but forcefully pushing for new sanctions.
The flip-side is that the move for sanctions now has greater standing after the IAEA report; and, Yossi Melman reports, the new Duqu virus, which may be a precursor to a second Stuxnet, is indeed screwing with Iran as we speak; and Iran feels itself boxed in by the new report. Point being: dread at the advances Iran is making should be properly tempered with optimism at the advances that anti-Iran forces are making—and that there is no reason why the latter advances shouldn’t outweigh the former ones and thereby militate against something so drastic as, say, a preemptive military strike.
Blast at Revolutionary Guard Base Kills 17 [WP]
Iran Says Revolutionary Guard Commander Killed in Accidental Explosion Was Key Missile Pioneer [AP/WP]
Was Israel Behind a Deadly Explosion at an Iranian Missile Base? [Time]
Israel Lobbies Discreetly for More Sanctions After U.N. Report on Iran [NYT]