The Guardian: out-farcing FARS

 In November last year an explosion took place at the Alghadir missile base at Bid Ganeh, Iran, killing seventeen members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard including the man described as the “architect” of that country’s missile programme, Major General Hassan Moghaddam.

Despite the fact that Iran claimed at the time that the explosion was the result of an accident, the Guardian apparently thought it knew better and published an article by Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in which the writers claimed to have access to a source which blamed Israel for the blast. 

Borger and Dehghan wrote: 

“The official account insisted the blast was an accident, but a source with close links to Iran’s clerical regime blamed it on an operation by the Mossad, bolstering other reports of involvement by Israel’s intelligence and special operations organisation that were attributed to western intelligence services.

If true, the blast would mark a dramatic escalation in a shadow war over the Iranian nuclear programme.”


“Speaking to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, however, a former director of an Iranian state-run organisation with close links to the regime, said: “I believe that Saturday’s explosion was part of the covert war against Iran, led by Israel.”

The former official compared Saturday’s incident to a similar blast in October 2010 at an IRGC missile base near the city of Khorramabad. “I have information that both these incidents were the work of sabotage by agents of Israel, aimed at halting Iran’s missile programme,” he said.”

As CiF Watch pointed out at the time, Borger and Dehghan’s dire warnings of “a dramatic [Israeli] escalation in a shadow war over the Iranian nuclear programme” notably avoided all mention of Iranian sponsorship of terror and murderous dictators in the Middle East.

On September 16th 2012, according to the semi-official FARS news agency, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohammad Ali Jafari, once again referred to the incident as an accident saying “that the last November blast at an IRGC center in the vicinity of Tehran took place as the center was conducting research on solid fuel for satellite carries” (sic). 

“Answering a question about the impact of the blast on the IRGC missile projects and capability, the IRGC commander said, “It was just a part of our missile research program that was hit by the accident. The accident could only delay our research for 6 months and now the program is back on.” “

FARS also reported that: 

“Following the blast, a series of the news reports in the Western media tried to link Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, to the November 12 blast. 

Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi rejected the western media reports on Israel or US involvement in the blast. “

Never one to pull its punches on the subject of blaming Israel for just about anything going – including a third-rate film trailer and diverting rain clouds – the Iranian regime, unlike the Guardian, is however quite clear on the fact that the explosion at the Alghadir base was an accident. 

It really is coming to something when a pathological obsession with Israel and reliance upon convenient rumours from anonymous sources makes a Western newspaper out-ayatollah the Ayatollahs and more farcical than FARS.  

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