Since the end of June, the Islamic Republic has experienced a series of explosions and fires at military and industrial sites.
Over the past month, Iran has witnessed a series of mysterious explosions and fires at nuclear-related facilities. Analysts believe that these incidents are interconnected and may be part of the sabotage campaign conducted by Israel, the United States or other foreign policy opponents of Iran.
In Iran, a gas tank exploded and a fire broke out at a missile plant in Khojira near the Parchin military base south of Tehran on June 26. The authorities then said that no one was injured and did not go into details of the incident.
On the morning of July 2, a fire broke out at a nuclear facility in the city of Natanz. As a result, the ground parts of a number of structures collapsed. Experts interviewed by the AP agency indicate that the site of the construction “coincides with the location of the cascade of centrifuges” intended for uranium enrichment.
Behruz Kamalwandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that “damage was done to parts of the structure of the buildings” and no increase in the radioactive background was recorded. He noted that people were not hurt.
The US media published a comment by an unnamed intelligence officer from the Middle East region, who claimed that the fire was the result of sabotage since an explosive device was carried and installed on the territory of a closely guarded object.
The New York Times attributed the sabotage to Israel. The Cheetahs group of the motherland, which had not previously been included in the media, claimed responsibility for it. They stated that they consisted of clandestine former members of Iran’s security forces who had gone into opposition.
At the same time, the representative of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Keivan Khosrawi said that the causes and nature of this incident will be announced not now, but “in due course for safety reasons.”
On July 10, it became known about an explosion in the west of Tehran, after which the power supply in the area of the incident was cut off. The NYT writes that while the exact location of the explosion has not been determined, analysts say there are several military and training facilities in the area that could have been targeted by sabotage.
On Monday, July 13, an explosion took place at an LNG-related facility in northeastern Iran. The explosion occurred on the territory of the industrial zone of the city of Fariman in the province of Razavi Khorasan. First, a tank for gas condensate caught fire, then an explosion thundered. Several buildings were damaged.
A day earlier, a fire broke out at a petrochemical plant in the Mahashr area of the south-west of the country. The oil leak was cited as the cause.
On 15 July, seven warships were burned in the port city of Bushehr in southern Iran as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire. No one was injured, the cause of the incident is not yet clear. Bushehr, Fox News notes, is Iran’s only nuclear power plant.
Against the background of the incidents, American intelligence has identified several signs that Iran has brought its air defense segments on high alert, CNN writes, citing several sources at the Pentagon.
According to their version, the state of high alert means that Iran’s air defense is ready to launch air-to-air missiles for any threatening targets. According to sources, US intelligence does not consider the state of high alert of Iranian air defense as an integral part of military exercises.
According to Newsweek columnist David Brennan, the “mysterious explosions” occurring in the Islamic Republic are raising some suspicions, especially due to incidents at a nuclear facility.
The total number of explosions and fires makes it possible to make an assumption about the participation of a third party, which is engaged in “unfair play”, the journalist believes, this is also facilitated by the fact that incidents often took place at important military and industrial sites.
According to Reuters, citing sources in the Iranian government, the Natanz incident caused significant damage to the facility’s infrastructure, which could slow the development and production of advanced centrifuges.
Several Iranian officials told the agency that the incident was the result of a third-party cyberattack, but gave no evidence or name the alleged suspects.
Among the “guilty”, most likely, maybe the United States and Israel, since they already have a similar experience. A decade ago, the Natanz plant was attacked by the Stuxnet virus, which disrupted centrifuges to enrich uranium fuel.
As the New York Times reported, the virus is a joint development of U.S. and Israeli intelligence.
Iran-US relations deteriorated dramatically after Donald Trump came to power, who emerged from a nuclear deal with Iran concluded by the Barack Obama administration. Trump accused Iran of violating the agreement, although he did not provide evidence of this.
In January 2020, the countries were on the verge of armed conflict, when U.S. special services killed in Baghdad a reputable general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qasem Soleimani. Iran responded by striking a U.S. military base in Iraq.
Iran signed an agreement with the United States and leading countries to abandon the development of nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of some economic sanctions in 2015.
At the same time, some countries, in particular, the current US administration and Israel, feared that the agreement did not give firm guarantees of Iran’s refusal to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran has repeatedly threatened to waive restrictions on uranium enrichment, insisting on a return to the deal. In late January, a representative of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said that Tehran already has enough capacity to enrich uranium to any extent, noting that it has not yet back from the nuclear deal.
Now the European Union is trying to intensify its efforts to build bridges and narrow the gap between all the parties concerned about the nuclear deal.