There has been no lack of tension between the U.S. and Iran recently. President Trump is not shy and cowering when it comes to exerting U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf as Liberty Nation has reported extensively. However, in the last two months, Iran’s attention has been turned inward as explosions and fires have rocked nuclear facilities, areas close to Iranian military installations, and other locations across the country.
The number of incidents strongly suggest there is more to this than mere errors. In an interview with Fox News, General Jack Keane pointed out that there have been dozens of so-called accidents by the Iranians over the past several months, but “that is no longer a credible claim given the sheer numbers of them.” General Keane went on to say that there are only two countries capable of executing operations like this: Israel and the U.S.
In Keane’s expert opinion, Iran is experiencing a “covert espionage campaign likely being conducted by the Israelis and being assisted by informants inside Iran and others who are part of the resistance movement in Iran.” If so, this has been an impressive covert capability display. In many cases, the damage inflicted has been extensive.
A July 3 report in The Jerusalem Post claims that, on June 25, a “massive explosion seen many miles away in Tehran, burned a hillside near a missile complex at Khojir,” which is one of Iran’s largest missile production facilities. The Post article intimated that Israel might have been behind the explosion. Despite rumors and speculation over the cause, the Iranians have been cautious in publicly assigning blame or even suggesting specifically what caused the blast.
New York Times correspondent, Farnaz Fassihi, covered the same story in a June 25 article. Fassihi quoted Iranian Defense Ministry spokesman, Brigadier General Davoud Abdi, who explained that what the people of Tehran saw and heard was a gas explosion in the general area of the “Parchin military complex and weapons development base.” The photo in the article gives a perspective on the magnitude of the blast.
According to Fassihi’s report, Fabian Hinz, who is a researcher at the James Marin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California explained the significance of the Parchin military complex: “Parchin is basically the largest military explosive manufacturing site in Iran.” Hinz went on to say: “They produce artillery rockets there, and had tests related to nuclear weapons designs before 2003.”
A second explosion and fire on July 2 ripped through the Natanz sophisticated centrifuge assembly plant located between Esfahan and Tehran in Central Iran. A July 5 Associated Press article showed satellite photos provided by Planet Labs Inc. of the Natanz nuclear site where extensive damage is clearly evident.
Does Iran Have a Domestic Threat?
The centrifuges are a critical element in the refinement of low-enriched uranium. Iran has not offered an explanation for the explosion and fire – and whether this was an accident or intentional remains a mystery. But there are others besides General Keane who believe the spate of incidents inside Iran are not accidents. In his article Iranian Explosions and fires – Foreign Attacks or Internal Sabotage?, appearing in American Action News, Paul Crespo reports:
“Despite the Iranian regime’s desire to pin these incidents on the US or Israel, some evidence points to domestic sabotage. The BBC reported that a group said to be composed of dissidents within Iran’s military and security forces claimed responsibility for the attack on Natanz.”
Crespo, relying on a BBC report, explains that “The group – calling itself Homeland Cheetahs, also said that they ‘had been behind numerous attacks that the Iranian authorities had so far concealed from the public.’”
General Keane concluded by positing that if the Israelis are working with resistance groups and informants inside Iran, it’s is a good strategy. It gives the Israelis plausible deniability since they are not executing bombing missions as they have in the past, and Israeli forces are not directly involved.
So, for the moment, the Iranians are occupied internally, trying to stop mischief from within. Iranian nuclear ambitions may be impeded, and significant Iranian military targets are being destroyed. The U.S. and our Middle East friends and allies have good bleacher seats from which to watch. What’s not to like?
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.