Report: Iran blast completely destroyed major missile-testing site
Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials tell New York Times recent explosion at military base near Tehran was major setback to Iran's long-range missile program.
A recent explosion at a military base near Tehran was a major setback for Iran's long-range missile program and completely destroyed the base, according to American and Israeli intelligence officials, the New York Times reported on Monday.
The officials said that surveillance photos showed that the Iranian base was a central testing center for advanced solid-fuel missiles, which are better equipped than older, liquid-fuel designs to carry warheads long distances.
According to the report, satellite photos taken after the blast show that the base was almost completely destroyed, which amounts to a serious setback to Tehran's missile development, intelligence officials said.
Earlier this month, Iran reiterated that the explosion at a military base near Tehran that killed 17 members of the Revolutionary Guards was an accident.
Last week, a top Israeli security official said that the explosion could delay or stop further Iranian surface-to-surface missile development, but warned that it was far from halting all of Iran's military options.
Iran has vehemently denied that the blast was carried out by Israel or the United States, and Western intelligence and defense officials say the consequences – the setback of Iran's military program - are more important than the cause.
“Anything that buys us time and delays the day when the Iranians might be able to mount a nuclear weapon on an accurate missile is a small victory,” one Western intelligence official told the New York Times. “At this point, we’ll take whatever we can get, however it happens.”
Read this article in Hebrew: בסיס ניסוי הטילים המרכזי של איראן נמחק לחלוטין