New blast rocks Iranian power plant, chlorine gas leak sickens 70; Iran threatens retaliation against Israel, US

In the city of Ahvaz, an explosion ignited a fire at the Zergan power plant, which Iranian media claimed was ignited when a transformer exploded.

By AP and WIN Staff

In Iran’s Khuzestan province on Saturday, a fire at the Zergan power plant was ignited in the city of Ahvaz, when a transformer exploded, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Iran has threatened to retaliate for cyber attacks launched against its facilities and named ‘hostile countries’ Israel and the United States as possible targets.

“So far Iran has tried to prevent intensifying crises and the formation of unpredictable conditions and situations,” said IRNA.

“But the crossing of red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran by hostile countries, especially the Zionist regime and the United States, means that strategy should be revised.”

Former chief of IDF military intelligence Amos Yadlin said “it appears that the prime minister [Netanyahu] focused this week on Iran rather than annexation.”

“If Israel is accused by official sources then we need to be operationally prepared for the possibility of an Iranian reaction,” added Yadlin.

On the same day, a chlorine gas leak at a petrochemical center in southeast Iran sickened 70 workers, IRNA reported

Most of the workers at the Karun petrochemical center in the city of Mahshahr in southeast Khuzestan province were released after undergoing medical treatment.

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Meanwhile, videos of the Ahvaz fire appeared on social media showing massive plumes of black smoke.

The fire was contained by firefighters after two hours of battling the blaze.

Mohammad Hafezi, the power plant’s health and safety manager, told IRNA the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The two incidents in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan come after a fire and explosion at a centrifuge production plant above Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday.

Officials said the cause of the fire at Natanz is known to officials, but won’t be immediately released for “security reasons.”

On Tuesday, an explosion in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.