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Iran Sees 6th Deadly ‘Mystery’ Explosion In Weeks At Industrial Zone Near Tehran

From ZH.


In the early morning hours of Tuesday two Iranians were killed and three injured in a blast at a factory south of Tehran, IRNA reported.

Like with other recent explosions and fires, including one at Iran’s underground nuclear development Natanz facility, official statements downplayed this latest blast as an accident. “Human error was the cause of the blast in a factory… Two people were killed and three others were injured,” said a local official.   

“The explosion that was caused by some workers’ negligent handling of oxygen tanks…. was so powerful that the walls of a factory nearby were also totally destroyed,” he added.

Aftermath of major deadly blast at Sina At’har health center north of Tehran on June 30, 2020. Authorities 

What is a mystery, however, is the latest spate of “random” explosions and fires at remote Iranian countryside areas and industrial zones known for being weapons and nuclear development sites, as we previously detailed.

Meanwhile, there’s been more and more scrutiny placed on Israel and its main foreign intelligence service Mossad: 

Israel was the culprit behind a fire that caused significant damage to an Iranian uranium enrichment facility, a Middle Eastern intelligence official has claimed.

The unnamed source told The New York Times that a powerful bomb caused the explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility last week.

Declared an accident by Iranian officials, the blast led to significant damage to the facility and could slow the production of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, according to the country’s atomic energy spokesperson.

Several mysterious fires and explosions have broken out at sites in Iran in recent weeks, including explosions at a weapons depot and medical facility, along with a fire at a power station.

The incidents are now coming with such frequency that the question of foreign sabotage is impossible to ignore, also considering Israeli leaders have over the past year vowed they’ll do anything to ensure the Islamic Republic can’t possibly develop a nuke.

“The incidents have sparked speculation that Iran is under attack, with some pointing to arch-foe Israel as the culprit behind the supposed attacks,” the New Arab report continues. Iran has said it will respond if it’s confirmed that Israel or the US are behind it, including via cyber-attacks. “Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Middle Eastern intelligence official told The New York Times that Israel was behind the Natanz blast but not any of the other incident.”

Satellite image showing damage to a building after a fire and explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site, on July 3. Image source: Planet Labs Inc., James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies via AP.

Asia Times has asked: are we witnessing the “the son of Stuxnet?”

Five recent explosions in Iran may have been caused by computer viruses similar to the Stuxnet virus that disabled Iranian centrifuges in 2010.

Two of the blasts took place at power plants, one at a missile research, development and production site, one at a new uranium enrichment centrifuge center, and the last (if it can be considered part of the attacks) in downtown Tehran at a medical facility that could have been a cover for nuclear operations such as a hidden command center.

All of this has prompted a response out of Israel, with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday issuing a partial and somewhat ambiguous denial.

“Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us… All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I’m not sure they always know how to maintain them,” he told Army Radio.

“Everyone can be suspicious of us all the time,” Gantz said. “But not every incident that happens in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”

Recall that just a year ago it was a long hot summer of ‘tanker wars’. And now it seems a sabotage war on Iranian soil, targeting weapons and nuclear development, despite Tehran claiming its nuclear facilities are for peaceful domestic energy purposes. 

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3 thoughts on “Iran Sees 6th Deadly ‘Mystery’ Explosion In Weeks At Industrial Zone Near Tehran”

  1. It’s interesting to examine how long it took the US to go from “Well, maybe you can split the atom and create an atomic bomb…” to “Yeah, buh-bye Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1940, the atomic bomb was speculative fiction; in ’45, it was reality.

    Yet, even knowing that the atomic bomb was possible, the Iranians have taken decades to get to the point where they’re just (maybe) on the cusp of building their first bomb.

    This does not argue for Iranian intelligence or competence. The Israelis managed to build a working bomb sometime back in the 1960s (in all likelihood…), the South Africans did it in the late 1970s (probably) and the Pakistanis probably did theirs in the 1980s.

    My guess is that either they don’t really want the bomb, or they’re incredibly stupid. What did it take Stalin to build his? Five years, or so? And, then he was on to the hydrogen bomb not long after… Iranians are apparently the kids who licked the windows on the slow bus going to school. Either that, or they have a bunch of people playing Heisenberg, sabotaging the program from within. Makes ya wonder…

    Reply
    • The israeli has a lot to do in this regard..
      if you haven’t already the “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service” is worth reading.

      Reply
    • Well, the Iranians have faced enormous opposition along the way. If Stalin had gotten active resistance against his program, as opposed to help from the likes of the Rosenbergs, it might have taken him a little longer, too.

      The pressure put on the Iranian financial system by the GWB and Trump administrations has been extraordinary. And—presumably—Mossad has been pulling stuff like Stuxnet and killing nuclear scientists in traffic with limpet bombs and stuff.

      I’ve never been to Iran, but I’ve been close enough to handle stuff that says “sokht Iran” on it. And I have been to Pakistan. And if the Pakistanis can pull off a bomb, so can the Iranians.

      Iran’s scientists and businessmen punch well above the typical weight class for their region. In the long run, the regional hegemons are going to be Turkey, Iran or Israel. Historically Turkey and Iran have gone back and forth, with Egypt getting an occasional honorable mention. Israel is the modern wild card. But Saudi as a hegemon? UAE? Nah. Not once Uncle Sam stops giving them fighter jets.

      Reply

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