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Iran Explosion Denied, Satellite Imagery Shows Damage

11/30/2011 06:59 AM ET

Iran Explosion - New satellite imagery shows the extent of damage to the Iranian military compound that blew up earlier this month, was extensively damaged, the Institute for Science and International Security said after an analysis of new satellite imagery.

ISIS compared a November 22 image from DigitalGlobe to one from September.

“Some buildings appear to have been completely destroyed. Some of the destruction seen in the image may have also resulted from subsequent controlled demolition of buildings and removal of debris. There do not appear to be many pieces of heavy equipment such as cranes or dump trucks on the site, and a considerable amount of debris is still present,” according to the analysis posted on ISIS website.

Senior defense officials told Barbara Starr on November 17th that the U.S. believes the Iranians were mixing volatile fuel for a rocket motor for a large ballistic missile when the accident occurred.

ISIS concluded the same thing. “Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site when the blast occurred,” the ISIS analysis noted.

At least 17 people, including a general, died as a result of an explosion on the military base near Tehran, Iranian state media reported at the time of the explosion.

Lawmaker Hossein Garousi told state media the blast happened when a munitions depot accidentally caught fire at the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) military base in Bidgeneh village, located on the outskirts of Shahriar city and about 35 kilometers (21 miles) west of Tehran.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported that Maj. Gen. Hassan Tehrani-Moqadam, in charge of IRGC’s Office of Self sufficiency, was killed as a result of the explosion.

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