A mysterious blast that may or may not have taken place a week ago in a suburb of Tehran is producing more questions than answers. The explosion, which has not been reported in Iranian sources even though the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph stated that it could be heard all over the city of Tehran, allegedly involved a munitions convoy carrying weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon by way of Turkey and Syria. The article, which appeared on July 25th, reports that at least fifteen people were killed. The Telegraph article, based on information provided by “Western officials,” was written by Con Coughlin, who often is a conduit for British government sources. He frequently posts stories that turn out to be inaccurate but which were apparently placed either as propaganda or as disinformation. Complicating the issue is an independent report that some Israeli journalists knew in advance that there would be an attack on an Iranian weapons convoy on July 19th, the day on which the alleged incident reportedly took place.
There are a number of possibilities. The story itself could be a complete fabrication intended only to substantiate US and Israeli claims that Tehran is supplying weapons to Hezbollah in contravention of UN agreements. That is has appeared in both the Israeli and British media could be an attempt to confirm the allegations being made, a classic technique used to establish the bona fides of disinformation. Alternatively, the story could be true, but the result of an accident that the Israeli, American, and the British governments are seeking to exploit to make it look like they might have had a hand in it, making the Iranians uncertain about the intentions and capabilities of their enemies. Or it could be an actual covert operation by the US, Israel, or Britain to disrupt Iranian supplying Hezbollah with weapons. If that is what it is, it would be a significant escalation of the covert war being waged against Iran and it would also mean that the US and its friends have the capability to carry out a major operation in Tehran itself. If that is true, it will strenghten the position of the hardliners inside Iran and will almost certainly force the Iranians to react, possibly by carrying out an operation of their own inside Iraq.