Ahmad Vahidi

Iran’s Defence Minister said today that investigators have ruled out sabotage as the cause of a recent explosion at a Revolutionary Guards ammunition depot.

The Fars News Agency reports that Commander Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s Defence Minister, said: “The report of this incident was properly announced by the Revolutionary Guards, and the investigations confirm what was contained in the earlier report.”

The Guards public relations office had announced that the explosion occurred while ammunition was being moved.

Time magazine, however, published a report after the explosion, claiming the Israeli intelligence group Mossad was involved in the incident. The report cited a U.S. security official, who predicted more such incidents will occur in Iran at the hands of Mossad.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has denied any prior knowledge of the explosion but did declare that he welcomed the incident and hoped more would follow.

The explosion left 17 people dead, including Brigadier General Tehrani Moghaddam, whom the Guards refer to as the founder of their artillery and missile program.