Sunday, December 04, 2011

Mysterious explosions

Once could be an accident, twice could be chance, but three times is a charm. There have been three major explosions recently, two in Iran and one in Lebanon. These are in addition to the targeted killings of several leading Iranian nuclear scientists, whose cars mysteriously blew up. In Iran on Nov 12 a massive explosion at a missile production facility in Boghadam 30 km from Tehran killed 36 members of the Iranian National Guard including the head of the rocket design project, Gen Moghaddam. He was so important that his funeral was a national ceremony attended by Ayatollah Khamenei and PM Ahmedinejad. At first Iran reported the explosion as an accident, then they denied it, and finally they said it wasn't really important.

On Nov 23 in south Lebanon near Tyre, a Hizbollah arms cache exploded killing a number of terrorists. Once again there were reports of the incident and photos of the huge smoke plume, then it was denied, even though the area was cordoned off by Hizbollah guards and no-one was admitted, including the UNIFIL forces that were supposed to prevent Hizbollah having any arms in that area. Finally, on Nov 28 a huge explosion or series of explosions occured in a major nuclear facility near the city of Isfahan causing the whole city to shake. Air reconaissance photos that were released later showed that several buildings in the facility were destroyed beyond repair.

The question is how did these explosions happen and who did it? Arab and Iranian commentators blamed Israel for somehow triggered these explosions, but the question is how could they do this so far within enemy territory. We can rule out actual soldiers, such as paratroopers, getting in and causing the explosions, because they would leave a trace or be captured by the enemy. That leaves two other possibilities, either drones were sent in and fired rockets to set the explosions off, and it is known that now the IDF has drones that can effectively hover silently for hours and are deadly accurate. Or Israel has found a way to cause munitions to explode from a distance. One possible means (and here I am speculating) is the use of some form of radiation that can heat a detonator from a distance. Whatever the mechanism, there is no doubt that the Iranian National Guard and Hizbollah will have to come up with some new form of security since their armaments are clearly now vulnerable whereever they are. Short of an actual war, it is likely that Israel will continue to hamper the progress of Iran towards their goal of developing a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it. With Israel's incredible intelligence capability, nowhere in Iran or in south Lebanon is now safe.


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