In the latest of a series of unexplained disasters in Iran, an explosion was reported Sunday at a power station near the central province of Isfahan.
There were no casualties in the blast, which was caused by wear and tear on a transformer at the power plant, the managing director of the Isfahan power company told the official IRNA news agency, according to Reuters.
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) July 18, 2020
Power was interrupted for two hours, Saeed Mohseni said, and noted the facility provided electricity for the city of Isfahan. He added the damaged equipment was being repaired and replaced.
انفجار في محطة توليد للطاقة وسط أصفهان بإيران، ولا أنباء عن إصابات. pic.twitter.com/EIqFKWUqAn
— أخبار عاجلة (@News_Brk24) July 19, 2020
The Natanz nuclear facility, which was damaged in a July 2 fire, is also in the Isfahan province.
According to a report in The New York Times which cited a Middle Eastern intelligence official, Israel was behind the Natanz explosion. The official said the bomb caused “significant damage” and set back Tehran’s nuclear program by months.
A building used for producing centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site was blown up with a powerful bomb, the official told the newspaper.
A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps also confirmed to the newspaper an explosive was used. He ruled out cyberattacks as the cause.
The unnamed official said, however, Israel was not responsible for the other fires occurring around the Islamic Republic.
On Wednesday, seven ships caught fire at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr which houses Iran’s only nuclear plant. It was the second blaze reported that day, with another breaking out at an aluminum factory in Lamerd in southern Iran.
There have also been a series of mysterious gas blasts and explosions in the Tehran area.
An explosion at the Parchin military complex, which analysts believe houses missile production facilities as well as a subterranean tunnel system, occurred a week before the Natanz blast.
Iran’s state-run media is taking a bizarre approach in deflecting news about the explosions by publishing their own articles involving fires in the U.S.
“Their narrative is now to highlight fires in the US as if the phenomenon is either global or as if there is also some “mysterious” element causing those fires,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “It’s clear the Iranian media “fire” story is coordinated from the top and is aimed to replicate US media focus on the recent, mysterious Iranian explosions.”
In an attempt to deflect & create a parallel narrative, fires in the U.S. are dominating the front pages of #Iran’s conservative newspapers. See below for the latest issues of Vatan-e Emrooz and Kayhan. Vatan-e Emrooz’s headline reads “incendiary states.” pic.twitter.com/iFAuX6scWR
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) July 19, 2020