Explosion in Iran near nuclear site raided by Israel in 2018

Explosion at a factory south of Tehran that killed two appears to be unrelated to nuclear research, but the site is not far from a nuclear warehouse exposed by Israel in 2018.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Iranian news agencies reported an explosion at a factory south of the capital Tehran on Tuesday that killed two people and injured several others, the latest in a series of blasts in the Islamic Republic in the past week.

Local officials said the explosion at 3:20 a.m. local time occurred at a factory in the town of Baghershahr just south of Tehran during the filling of oxygen tanks and was caused by human error, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.

Tuesday’s explosion in Baghershahr is roughly 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the warehouse where an extensive archive of Iran’s nuclear activities was found and smuggled to Israel in 2018, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) subsequently discovered unexplained traces of uranium at a nearby site in the Turouzabad area, but its investigation has been slowed by Iran’s failure to cooperate.

The explosion was at least the fifth to hit Iran in the past week, two of which occurred at top secret sites associated with Iran’s nuclear program.

One blast was at the Parchin military site in the mountains outside the city, It’s suspected of being a weapons development center for Iran’s ballistic missile program. Another was at the Natanz nuclear development site. Both are shrouded in mystery.

The New York Times claims that Israel was involved in the Natanz incident. Israel denied any connection to the blasts.

On Sunday, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency confirmed to the official IRNA news agency that the damaged building at the Natanz site was a new centrifuge assembly center.

Iranian officials had initially downplayed the incident calling it a fire, but it was subsequently revealed that an explosion had taken place.