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NYT: Iranian blast destroyed missile testing site

JTA

December 5, 2011 | 10:26 am

An explosion at a military base in Iran destroyed a major missile-testing site and set back Iran’s long-range missile program, the New York Times reported.

The explosion three weeks ago near Tehran destroyed a central testing center for advanced solid-fuel missiles, unnamed American and Israeli intelligence officials told the newspaper in an article published on Monday.

There is still no solid information on what caused the explosion; American officials believe it was an accident, while Iranian media have hinted that sabotage may have been the cause.

The explosion on Nov. 12 killed Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the head of Iran’s missile program, which could be a major blow to the program, the Times reported.

The base where the explosion took place has grown dramatically in recent years, according to the newspaper, and the damage from the blast is consistent with solid-fuel technology.

On Sunday, Iran claimed that it shot down an advanced American drone in eastern Iran, which, if true, means it has gained access to cutting-edge American technology. Iran has accused the United States of spying on its nuclear program and attempting to sabotage it.

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