The New York Times carried an article last week by David Sanger and William Broad providing additional detail about the mysterious blast that leveled Iran’s major missile test center on Nov. 12, killing one of the country’s top rocket scientists and others. The article also provides useful hints to sources, without ultimately shedding any new light, however, on what caused the blast. (The jury is out on whether it was just a terrible accident or the work of terrorists, dispatched by a foreign intelligence service or by one of the Iranian exile groups trying to overthrow the regime.)
Because of the Times’s peculiar policy of rarely linking to any sources other than itself, it may be useful to provide some of the links here. The Times’s photographs of the Iranian missile site before and after the blast first were posted by the International Institute for Science and International Security in a short report by Paul Brannan.
The facility was a test site for solid-fueled missiles, an Iranian high-priority that the International Institute for Strategic Studies, characterizes as “a turning point” with “profound strategic implications.” That statement is contained in a 148-page report, “Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabiities: A New Assessment,” by Mark Fitzpatrick.