“Although military and defense industry accidents do occur in Iran, the consensus appears to be a cyberstrike by Israel against Iran,” a senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics in Washington said.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A massive explosion in the mountains near the Iranian capital city of Tehran was most likely caused by an Israeli cyberattack on a secret missile facility, Saudi Arabia’s oldest English language daily reported Sunday.
Satellite images of the area before and after showed widespread damage from the nighttime explosion on Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from central Tehran, shaking homes and lightening up the horizon from the area of the Khojir military testing site in the Alborz Mountains.
“I was in this area a few minutes ago and, fortunately, we do not have any particular problems and everything is going according to the normal routine,” Brigadier General Davoud Abdi told Iran’s IRNA news agency Friday, saying the blast was the result of a “gas leak.”
However, experts told the the the Saudi newspaper Arab News that the Khojir site is part of the Parchin defense industries area with a hidden underground tunnel system where artillery rockets and ballistic and cruise missiles are produced and tested.
“Although military and defense industry accidents do occur in Iran, the consensus appears to be a cyberstrike by Israel against Iran,” Dr. Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics in Washington, told the paper.
Karasik noted that cyberwarfare between Iran and Israel has been going on for years, most recently with an attack by Iran on Israel’s water infrastructure and an Israeli retaliation against a major Iranian port.
The Parchin facility is reportedly used by Iran for missile tests linked to its nuclear program, Israel Defense News reported, adding that the satellite photographs showed that the site was not simply a fuel storage facility as Iran’s government had claimed.