The recent explosion at the IRGC base in Bidgeneh, in the southwest of the capital, Tehran, was so massive that it not only left over a dozen dead IRGC members, but it also rocked the neighboring residential areas. The explosion was massive from another angle, should we take into account the rumors spread by the media regarding the lingering espionage and anti-espionage warfare against the Revolutionary Guard. It has to be confessed, however, that such espionage and anti-espionage warfare has been and is going to remain to the disadvantage of the Revolutionary Guard.
Though no foreign power so far has claimed responsibility for the explosion at the IRGC base, and although the Revolutionary Guard has vehemently denied the involvement of foreign powers in the explosion, a cursory review of the incident reveals very important information about the event, about which conflicting reports have been made so far, even about the true number of the casualties. The number of dead was said to be 27 in the earlier official reports. It was then changed to 17 and later to 32.
There are only two possibilities for such a massive explosion to occur at the IRGC base. It was either a foreign- sponsored plot (US or Israel) or an accident, as claimed by the Revolutionary guard’s officials, which naturally happens in the military garrisons.
The Revolutionary Guard has vehemently ruled out possibility of foreign involvement in the blast and described the event as natural. To substantiate its claim, the Revolutionary Guard has said that the explosion occurred during transportation of explosive munitions at the IRGC depot. If it s really so, then the question is what was the necessity of having on site Brigadier-General Hasan Tehrani-Moghaddam, who is widely believed to be the mastermind of the Islamic Republic missile program? Why is the number of casualties so high? And why did Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, personally take part in the funeral procession?
It might be said that Khamenei took part in the funeral procession because he wanted to honor someone who has promoted Iran’s ballistic strength to the extent that its ballistic missiles can now go far beyond Israel’s boundaries and reach Europe. Although it seems to be a valid argument.
The Brigadier General Tehrani-Moghaddam’s presence on the spot provides a very important clue on why the explosion took place at the IRGC base. What was the necessity for such a high ranking commander of the Revolutionary Guard to be present on the spot during the transportation of explosive munitions?
Doesn’t it confirm the speculation about the involvement of foreign powers in the assassinationof Hasan Tehrani-Moghaddam and strike on Iran’s ballistic capabilities?
Statements made by Mohammad Tehrani-Moghaddam, brother of Hasan Tehrani-Moghaddam, who is also a commander of the Revolutionary Guard, can provide revealing insights into the incident. In an interview with the state-run newspaper, Iran, Mohammad Tehrani -Moghaddam linked his brother’s presence at the base to the primary testof intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Though he later retracted what he had said, and although Iran newspaper omitted the report, neither his denial nor the Iran newspaper deletion can do anything to conceal the realities on the ground.
Ali Khamenei’s presence at the funeral procession was indeed an honor paid to the Revolutionary Guard’s intercontinental ballistic missile program. In the same interview, Mohammad Tehrani-Moghaddam said that his brother was the architect of Hezbollah’s missile program and had had made few trips to Lebanon.
Therefore it is likely that a foreign power has been involved in assassination of Hasan Tehrani –Moghaddam. Given the revolutionary guard’s inability to take retaliatory measures and conduct preemptive strikes against the perpetrators of the blast at the military base, the Revolutionary Guard willingly and knowingly denied foreign involvement in the incident. Had Iran put the blame on foreign powers for the blast as it did so when Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated, the Revolutionary Guard would have to take retaliatory measures against them which itself could have amounted to an all-out war which the Revolutionary Guard is not ready to carry out. After all, the Revolutionary Guard has no more than a limited defensive capability, and it does not at all see in itself the very capability to carry out a preemptive strike against the perpetrators of the blast at the IRGC base. Therefore, the best option for the Revolutionary Guard was to deny the role and involvement of the foreign powers in the incident, so that it could first keep its intercontinental ballistic missile program secret, and second not to trigger a confrontation with foreign powers.
Let’s not forget that one of the Revolutionary Guard’s commanders, Brigadier General Abbas-Khani, has clearly said that Hassan Tehrani-Moghaddam has been always target of foreign agents. Nonetheless, death of the architect of the Revolutionary Guard’s missile program, however natural as it has been claimed by the Revolutionary Guard’s official sources, does show nothing but the extent of the Revolutionary Guard’ s inefficiency in conducting such program. It shows that the security measure in the Revolutionary Guard’s missile program is so easily breakable that a massive explosion at the IRGC base can leave such high number of casualties and claim the life of the father of the Revolutionary Guard missile program.
Whatever the reason behind the explosion, be a foreign plot or not, the Revolutionary Guard is not competent enough to conduct such program. Should it be proven that the explosion was a foreign-sponsored plot, it shows that the Revolutionary Guard is weak in anti-espionage activities, and should it be considered as natural incident, the Revolutionary Guard lacks necessary competency to provide security for the architect of its missile program.
It seems that the Revolutionary Guard prefers to opt for the second option.