A fire broke out at a petrochemical plant in Iran on Monday in the latest mysterious explosion to hit the Islamic Republic.
By Ebin Sandler, World Israel News
On Monday, the Iranian news site Tasnim reported that a fire broke out at “a major petrochemical plant in southwestern Iran.”
Tasnim cited information provided by a spokesman for Shahid Tondgooyan Petrochemicals who told them that “technical problems” caused installations at one of the complex’s factories “to catch fire.” The report added that the fire was “fully contained.”
The spokesman quoted by Tasnim said that “hot summer weather in the port of Mahshahr” was “to blame for the incident.”
Meanwhile, the state-controlled PressTV outlet offered a different version of events, claiming that the fire erupted when separation funnels were damaged by a leak of hot oil.
The blast that caused the fire, and the varying accounts of how it started, are the latest in a series of mysterious explosions in Iran, which include a major blaze that damaged most of the Natanz nuclear site. This installation was Iran’s primary uranium enrichment facility and included three large underground structures that could house tens of thousands of centrifuges.
In another one of the recent explosions, blast at a power plant in Ahvaz caused significant damage, while a chlorine leak at a different plan in the same region forced an evacuation.
While Israel does not generally confirm or deny its role in strikes or other incidents in the region, Iran issued a warning on Monday via Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi that it would take “necessary actions” after it concludes an “investigation,” Israel Hayom reported.
“If a regime or a government is involved in the Natanz incident, Iran will react decisively,” said Mousavi.
The New York Times recently published a report claiming the series of Iranian explosions are one component in an “evolving” U.S.-Israeli campaign of “short-of-war clandestine strikes, aimed at taking out the most prominent generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and setting back Iran’s nuclear facilities.”
In January 2020, the U.S. used a drone strike to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, a general who directed Iran’s terror proxies in the Middle East, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen.
As the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, Soleimani oversaw much of Iran’s activities related to proxy wars with regional rivals, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel.
In addition to the threats posed by Hamas and Hezbollah, both of which seek Israel’s destruction, Israel has also presented to the international community on multiple occasions evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
One of Iran’s stated goals is the elimination of the State of Israel.