update deskMiddle East

‘Explosion’ near missile base rocks Iranian city

Some reports suggest the blast resulted from a sabotage operation targeting the Imam Ali base.

The Shahab-3 missile, seen here during Iran's 2012 “Great Prophet” military exercise. The Shahab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Credit: Hossein Velayati via Wikimedia Commons.
The Shahab-3 missile, seen here during Iran's 2012 “Great Prophet” military exercise. The Shahab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Credit: Hossein Velayati via Wikimedia Commons.

A suspected explosion shook the Iranian city of Khorramabad on Monday night, with some reports suggesting the blast resulted from a sabotage operation targeting a nearby underground missile site.

The Imam Ali base, located 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Khorramabad, is where Iran produces and stores “Shahab-3” ballistic missiles, variants of which have ranges long enough to strike Israel.

“Strong shocks accompanied by a terrible sound caused tremors in parts of the city of Khorramabad, causing panic and disrupting the peace of the people at night,” Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

Israeli observers of the Islamic Republic recently told JNS that Tehran is violating a U.N. Security Council-mandated embargo on the export and import of missiles that is due to expire next month.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, passed in 2015 to endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—better known as the Iran nuclear deal—put in place restrictions on Iran with regard to purchasing or selling ballistic-missile-related components.

Iran maintains a large arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles, which carry conventional warheads but can be converted to deliver nuclear weapons. It also exports missiles, rockets and drones to terrorist proxies in the Middle East, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.

After Oct. 18, 2023, Tehran will no longer face bans on activities supporting its missile program. A separate U.N. arms embargo on Iran, barring it from purchasing weapons such as fighter jets and tanks, expired in October 2020. 

In June, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency publicized a secret operation in Iran that thwarted a plot to target Israelis in Cyprus.

The hit-squad head, captured by agents in Iran, provided information that led Cypriot intelligence services to foil the attack.

The man, named Yusef Shahabazi Abbasalilu, admitted during the investigation that he was sent to Cyprus to harm Israeli businessmen.

The Islamic regime has made clear threats to murder not only Israelis but also Jewish leaders worldwide. A report in February revealed that Iran was creating maps of Jews to assassinate if Israel struck its nuclear facilities.

Earlier this month, Mossad chief David Barnea revealed the thwarting so far in 2023 of 27 plots by Iran to murder Israelis and Jews outside the borders of the Jewish state.

“Any harm done to any Israeli or Jew in any way whatsoever will elicit a response against the Iranians who dispatched the terrorists and the policymakers who authorized the terror units to carry out the plots, from the bottom all the way up to the top,” Barnea warned, vowing to exact a price “deep inside Iran, in the heart of Tehran.‎”

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