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Iran says blast at military base was 'caused by Israel'

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Iran says blast at military base was 'caused by Israel'


Iran’s Supreme Leader has attended the joint funerals of 17 soldiers killed in an explosion at a Revolutionary Guards arms depot.

Among the dead was the man officially described as the architect of Iran’s missile programme, General Hassan Moqaddam.

The huge blast to the west of Tehran was felt in the capital. The authorities say it was an accident, denying suggestions that it was sabotage.

The American magazine Time believes differently. It spells out what Israeli media have hinted at: that this was the work of Israel’s secret service.

Speculation about an imminent attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities has intensified after a UN watchdog effectively said Iran was working on a nuclear bomb.

The EU is poised to back more sanctions.

“The IAEA report has confirmed what we’ve always said about Iran: that there is a nuclear weapons programme being conducted there, that the activities of Iran cannot be reconciled with a purely peaceful development of nuclear energy,” said Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague.

“We are not calling for or advocating military action. At the same time we say all options should remain on the table.”

Iran has test-fired missiles, some of which are said to have a range of up to 2,000 kilometres. But it insists its nuclear programme is peaceful.

The authorities say the military personnel killed in Saturday’s explosion were transporting munitions.

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