New satellite images of Iran show just how serious the explosion at a military base on Nov. 12 really was.
Images taken by DigitalGlobe and analyzed by Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) reveal that almost all of the large military complex was destroedy in what must have been a significant explosion.
Iran has tried to downplay the blast, calling it an accident that occurred during the transport of explosive materials and hasn't reported on the magnitude of the damage. Seventeen people were killed int he explosion, including General Hassan Moqaddam, the architect of Iran's supposed nuclear weapons program.
Compared to an earlier picture of the site, an image taken on November 22, 2011 shows that most of the buildings on the compound appear extensively damaged... Some buildings appear to have been completely destroyed, ISIS said.
Additionally the Institute stated that the blast occurred as Iran had achieved a major milestone in the development of a new missile.
Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site when the blast occurred, ISIS said.
Although Moqaddam was killed in the blast, the missile engine being tested was probably not related to the nuclear weapons program, but rather on rockets designed to be able to hit Israel.
Initially, some speculated that Israel could have been behind the blast and possibly sent its secret service Mossad on a secret mission to Iran as part of its (thus far only rhetorical) effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Both Iran and Israel have denied the claim, and the images cannot show if the blast was an accident or staged.
I have no idea whether this blast was accidental or whether it was sabotage, former head of the national security council and former deputy head of the Mossad Ilan Mizrahi told The Guardian.
But I will say God bless those who were behind it, because the free world should be doing its best to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear military capability.
May there be more [explosions] like it, Israeli Defense Minister Ehub Barak said in a statement.