Iranian IRGC missile base possibly hit by drones in Tehran

An explosion was heard in western Tehran early on Saturday morning, with initial reports and satellite imagery indicating that a missile base belonging to the Iranian IRGC was attacked.

Early Saturday morning, social media users in Iran reported hearing a large explosion in western Tehran near the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) base with some reporting that they had seen a flash from a blast. Some other users reported seeing a fighter jet flying low over the city, raising speculation that the “explosion” heard was just a sonic boom.

Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, a researcher at the Global Institute for Democracy and Strategic Studies think tank and a former member of an Iranian militia called Ansar-e Hezbollah, shared a photo reportedly from the area where he said the light of an explosion was seen.

On Sunday, the Intelli Times intelligence blog shared satellite imagery showing what appeared to be damage to the roof of a structure in the Shahid Hemmat base which had been struck in the September incident.

Iranian state media and Iranian officials had not referred to, confirmed, or denied the reports as of Monday afternoon.

On Monday, IRGC commander Hassani Ahangar told Iranian media that the death of an Iranian Defense Ministry engineer at a site in Parchin in May 2021 was caused by “industrial sabotage.”

The alleged attack on the Shahid Hemmat base comes just days after Iran announced that it was preparing to conduct a test launch of its Zuljanah solid-fuel satellite carrier rocket.

Just days before that, the Iranian Defense Ministry announced the “martyrdom” of Iranian aerospace scientist Mohammad Abdous during an unspecified “mission” in the Semnan province. The Saudi-backed television station Iran International claimed that Abdous had been working on “building and developing weapons for Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

While Iran does not currently have ballistic missiles that can reach much of Europe, the solid propellant stages used by the Zuljanah could be used in a future ICBM to deliver payloads of about 500 kg to ranges of at least 4,000 km – far enough to reach all of Europe – if Iranian officials decide to move forward with the development of such a weapon, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS).

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