Iran unraveling? Seven ships on fire after explosion at nuke site

by WorldTribune Staff, July 17, 2020

In the latest in a string of mysterious disasters to strike Iran in recent weeks, seven ships at the southern Iranian port of Bushehr reportedly caught fire on July 15.

Iranian news footage shows one of seven ships which caught fire in the port of Bushehr. / YouTube

The blaze was contained and no casualties were reported, the head of the local crisis management organization told Irna news agency. Iran’s only nuclear power plant is located in Bushehr province.

There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.

Related: Iran vows retaliation if foreign governments involved in Natanz blast, July 14, 2020

Two other fires have also puzzled Iranian officials, reports say: one at an industrial zone in Mashhad, where six gas storage tanks were engulfed in flames Monday, and another at a petrochemical facility in Mahshahr that was blamed on an oil leak.

The Bushehr blaze is one of at least a half-dozen mysterious blasts and fires at missile sites, hospitals, and sensitive military locations across Iran, mostly concentrated near Teheran.

• A gas explosion shook a residential building in Teheran on July 11, injuring one person, Iran’s semi-official ISNA reported.
• On July 10, IRIB reported that an explosion was heard in Western Teheran, and electricity had been cut in the area around where the explosion occurred.
• Two people were killed in an explosion at a Teheran factory on July 7.
• An explosion caused severe damage at the Natanz nuclear facility on July 2.
• In June, an explosion near a military complex in Parchin area southeast of Teheran rocked the Iranian capital. Authorities blamed that blast on “leaking gas tanks.”
• 13 people were killed in an explosion at a medical center in Teheran on June 30. Teheran Deputy Governor Hamid Reza Goudarzi told state TV that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

Western media have speculated that the “random” explosions are anything but. Instead, there’s growing attention focused on the likelihood of Israeli or U.S. intelligence sabotage.

Also being discussed is the possible involvement of domestic terror groups and Iranian opposition and revolutionary paramilitary groups. One prominent group which has conducted assassinations of Iranian officials in the past while seeking to bring down the regime is People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, or the Mujahedin-e Khalq.

Mujahedin-e Khalq has the support of prominent American politicians and officials, and reportedly has ties to Israeli intelligence.

While Iran has sought to downplay the recent blasts and fires, regime officials have also said they are investigating whether they could be under cyber attack from either Israel or the United States and have vowed to retaliate if that is the case.

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