A number of incidents have taken place in Iran over the past few weeks:
- On June 26, there was an explosion at a weapons depot in Parchin. Parchin hosts a military base in which, reportedly, nuclear activity had been carried out by Iran. Defense ministry spokesman, Davoud Abdi, told state TV that the blast had happened at a gas storage facility in a “public area” of Parchin rather than the military base. The fire had been put out and no casualties had been reported, he added, but gave no details about the cause of the blast.
- On July 2, the fire broke out at the Natanz nuclear fuel enrichment site. On July 5, the government confirmed that the damaged building at the Natanz nuclear site was a new centrifuge assembly center.
- On July 4, a fire knocked out a power station transformer in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. Fars News Agency reported that the fire at the Zargan power plant had broke out as a result of a transformer explosion. Later, a spokesman for the Iranian electricity industry told Iranian media that the “connection” of one of the transformers had caused the fire.
- On July 7, an explosion at a factory south of Tehran killed two people and seriously injured three others. The explosion, which destroyed a factory in Tehran and caused extensive damage to a neighbouring factory, was described as an accident and attributed to human error, which caused oxygen tanks stored there to explode.
- On June 30, an explosion killed 19 people at a medical clinic in central Tehran. According to Iranian media, the explosion was the result of a gas leak.
- On July 3, there was a fire in the city of Shiraz. The town was also hit by the power outage a few days earlier. The power outage also affected the 7th Tactical Air Base, which is located outside of the city of Shiraz and is attached to the Shiraz Shahid Dastghaib International Airport.
The chain of incidents generated a lot of suspicions and rumors. MSM primarily blamed Israel for attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Such a policy would be quite profitable for the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. With his plans to annex 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu is losing significant international support, as well as popularity within the country. If Israel’s involvement in the incidents in Iran is revealed, the current Prime Minister will have an opportunity to confirm his status as a strong leader who can protect Israel from threats emanating from Iran. In this case, Netanyahu does not cross “red lines” and does not allow a full-scale conflict with Iran to break out. Only a moderate-intensity conflict would allow Netanyahu to maintain his status without major consequences.
Incidents at nuclear sites had no significant impact on Iran’s nuclear policy. They only slowed down the progress.
The spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that reconstruction would soon begin with a bigger plot of land for advanced equipment.
However, no information about the involvement of the Israeli side in the incidents in Iran has been confirmed and remains suspicions.
Most of the incidents were identified by official statements as accidents. However, Iranian officials admit that if it is proved that any of the explosions were caused by Iran’s enemies, it will respond accordingly.
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