|David Perry |||Oct 07, 2014 01:00 AM EDT|
(Photo : Institute for Science and International Security) Satellite imagery of Iran's Parchin military complex, where a massive explosion killed two and caused damage nine miles away.
A massive explosion rocked an Iranian munitions site linked to the country's highly controversial nuclear program. The shockwave from the blast at the Parchin military base was so intense it shattered windows nine miles away.
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Parchin is 19 miles southeast of Tehran, the capital of the country, in a region known as the Barjamali Hills. The complex is known to be a test range of liquid-propellant missile engines by Western military experts, but it is widely suspected the site was or is used in explosives tests that were related to the development of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities.
The explosion also lit up the skies. Pro-reform website Sahamnews reported the flash could be seen for several miles around the base.
Official state news outlets confirmed the incident, saying that two base workers were killed in the accident.
The cause of the explosion has not been confirmed, with several Internet sites mentioning a fire, and others saying the blast was triggered by improper handling of explosive material.
Nonconfirmation has led several experts positing what led to the explosion. It is widely suspected that Jerusalem and Washington have been engaging in a series sub-rosa attacks on Iran's nuclear sites, either via sabotage, computer virus attacks, assassinations, or bombings.
The accident is reminiscent of a similar blast in 2011, when a massive explosion at a military base 28 miles west of Tehran killed 17 Revolutionary Guards, including the head of the elite force's missile program.
Israeli media at the time linked that blast to an operation by Israel's secret service, the Mossad, designed to hamstring Iran nuclear aspirations.
Israeli media denies the country had any involvement with the Parchin explosion.
A nuclear Iran would be a seismic shift in the chaotic relations of the Middle East and place a belligerent atomic power on the doorstep of NATO and Israel. While Iran is believed to have the basics of a nuclear program, it is not specifically known how developed the technology is.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United National nuclear power watchdog, has not been granted permission to inspect the site since 2005. Observers surmise Iran is cleaning up the site.
This latest twist in Iran's nuclear aspirations comes as Iranian officials and those of the IAEA are scheduled for talks. Iran is also in in negotiations with six world powers on a permanent agreement over its nuclear industry.
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