A suspected explosion rocked the area of the Iranian city of Khorramabad on Monday evening, with some unofficial reports speculating it could have been a sabotage operation in a nearby underground ballistic missile base.
Iranian media outlets affiliated with the country’s Islamic regime reported that a “terrible sound” was heard by local residents, who also said the ground had been shaking.
However, official reports said later that no earthquake had been recorded in the area, and authorities also denied that an explosion had taken place, adding that the source of the disturbance was being investigated.
Situated some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Khorramabad is the Imam Ali base, one of Iran’s two underground missile silos, where former president Mohammad Khatami ordered the production of Shahab-3 medium-range missiles — new variants of which have a range of 2,000 kilometers and are thought to be capable of hitting Israel and of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that around 10 p.m. on Monday, “strong shocks accompanied by a terrible sound caused tremors in parts of the city of Khorramabad, causing panic and disrupting the peace of the people at night.”
The report added that after it became clear that no earthquake had been recorded, “the occurrence of the explosion became more prominent in the minds of the people.”
The first released video from the vicinity of the Imam Ali #missile base, where the cameraman points out that there was no explosion from the side of this base.#news#خرم_آباد https://t.co/p3Iyq0pwQ3 pic.twitter.com/uAA617Yds5
— زهرا???? (@Zaharakhanom) September 25, 2023
Some observers, such as US-based Iranian-American Middle East researcher Erfan Fard of the Counter-Terrorism Center, suggested the incident could have been a successful operation by Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
Unofficial and unverified reports said the operation may have been conducted using attack drones.
#BREAKING: A successful sabotage operation of #Israel Intelligence (#Mossad) has resulted in an explosion in the fuel storage facility of Imam Ali ballistic missile base of #IRGC Aerospace Force near #Khorramabad, West of #Iran. The attack is probably conducted by means of… pic.twitter.com/wK92EkX4bU
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) September 25, 2023
Israel views Iran as its greatest threat and has repeatedly threatened to take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran denies seeking such weapons and has vowed a harsh response to any Israeli aggression.