But the enormous orange flash that illuminated Tehran around 11:15 p.m. local time clearly came from that direction, several witnesses said.
…Witnesses in the east of Tehran said that windows had been shattered in the vicinity of the military complex and that all trees in a hundred-yard radius of two villages, Changi and Hammamak, had been burned. The villages are on the outskirts of the military site.
In its report, Israel Defense publishes satellite images and analysis that claims “an attack” against bunkers in the complex. I don’t know if use of the word was intentional or not. But it is highly suggestive. In addition, how did IsraelDefense get access to these images? I have a pretty good idea. Their friendly Israeli intelligence source wanted to let the world know about the accident. Either he wanted the world to know purely to feast on Iran’s misery; or because his agency had something to do with the explosion.
If you look at the damage portrayed in the photo, it appears there was blast impact not in one specific location, but in two. They’re separated by enough distance to indicate that the explosion was more than an accident, but likely a deliberate act of sabotage.
It’s no accident that only two weeks ago Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz, whose portfolio is monitoring the “Iranian threat” (as Israel sees it), warned that researchers at Parchin had allegedly carried out critical tests of a new neutron ignition switch for a nuclear weapon:
A statement from Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, issued a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – the architect of Tehran’s nuclear diplomacy – was to address the U.N. General Assembly, said the implosion tests at Parchin involved neutron sources that would include nuclear material.
Israel, his statement said, based its information on “highly reliable information”, without elaborating.
It gave no specific dates for such testing, saying only that it occurred after what it called the 2000-2001 construction of a nuclear weaponisation test site at Parchin…
“It is important to emphasise [sic ]that these kinds of tests can have no ‘dual use’ explanation, since the only possible purpose of such internal neutron sources is to ignite the nuclear chain reaction in nuclear weapons,” the Israeli statement said.
If you parse this carefully, Israel is refusing to say when the tests took place. They might have been conducted any time within the last fifteen years! Further, the claim that the test cannot have a “dual use” is also so vague as to be meaningless. They can’t have dual use because Israel says so. Barring real evidence, is this sufficient to ensure credibility?
Whether or not such testing occurred, Israel believed it had. If it did sabotage the plant, then the Steinitz report could constitute warning and threat that was fulfilled by the attack.
As an aside, Jeffrey Heller the Reuters reporter who wrote this story twice refers to Israel as “the Jewish state.” One wonders whether any reporter would refer to Britain as “the Protestant state,” or France as “the Catholic state,” or even Pakistan as “the Muslim state.” In a story about nuclear weapons, why mention the subject of religion at all? It indicates that the mainstream media have bought into Bibi’s propaganda that the most important aspect of Israel’s existence is that it is a Jewish state. It’s shameful to find such lazy journalism with so many unexamined underlying assumptions at Reuters.
What’s especially important about this report, aside from the possible serious damage to Iran’s scientific research at Parchin, is what this means regarding Israeli relations with the U.S. on the Iran nuclear issue. Clearly, Bibi Netanyahu is angry at the prospect of Iran and the west reaching a nuclear agreement that leaves Iran with an enrichment program, centrifuges and facilities in place which could in future renew a nuclear weapons program (if Iran even has one to begin with). Bibi is a Rottweiler who, once he clamps down on a victim, cannot release his grasp. He cannot give up on the Iran “threat.” Like George Bush’s War on Terror, it reaps too many political dividends.
Realizing he has lost leverage with the P5+1 powers, such a massive attack on Iran sends a clear message that Israel has left the reservation, if it was ever on it. Israel will go its own way. It will not coordinate. It will not consult. It will act, come what may. It will leave everybody else to pick up the pieces afterward.
This is a potentially very dangerous development if Israel was involved. It means that regarding Iran, Israel has become a rogue state. No one can be sure exactly what it might do (short of a full-scale military attack, which I’ve reported was taken off the table by Israel in 2011). Even if the rest of the world comes to term with Iran’s alleged nuclear program, Israel hasn’t and never will, at least under this government.
Given the relatively weak leadership Pres. Obama has shown on this and so many other issues, one has to wonder what he will do if Israel takes further, more damaging actions that threaten to torpedo any deal or general rapprochement with the Iranian regime.