Israeli officials said in a report Wednesday that a mysterious explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility two days ago was no accident.
The eyebrow-raising remarks surfaced in a Times of London story reporting that satellite images show smoke billowing from the uranium enrichment facility in the city of Isfahan.
“There aren’t many coincidences,” retired Major-General Giora Eiland told Israel’s army radio, noting that it was the second attack on an Iranian nuclear site in a month.
“When there are so many events, there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it’s the hand of God,” said Eiland, who is Israel’s former national security chief.
Israeli intelligence honcho Dan Meridor suggested the guiding hand might be closer to home — and fanned speculation that an undeclared war against Iran was already under way.
“There are countries who impose economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat,” he said.
But while the satellite pictures are revealing, no concrete evidence has emerged that a covert operation is underway to target Iranian nuclear facilities.
The Iranians have denied that Monday’s blast was anywhere near their nuclear facility. They claim the explosion was caused during a military exercise in the area.
When the story first broke, a deputy to Isfahan’s governor insisted there was barely any blast at all.
“Maybe somebody’s water-heater exploded,” Mohammad-Mehdi Ismaeli told the Mehr news agency.
Two weeks ago, another suspicious blast on a military base near Tehran killed General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of Iran’s missile defense program, and 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard.
The Iranians claim it happened as they were testing a new weapons system designed to strike Israel.
An Israeli official quoted by the Times of London said that, too, was an attack aimed at thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but stopped short of saying the country had anything to do with the strike.
There are “many different parties looking to sabotage, stop or coerce Iran into stopping its nuclear weapons program,” the official said.
The Iranians have repeatedly denied they are building nuclear weapons.
The Israelis are also widely believed to have nuclear weapons, but they also have never officially admitted that.
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