An explosion at a warehouse in Iran seems innocuous but takes on greater import when viewed as the latest in a multi-year series of catastrophes at key facilities.
Warehouse explosion stops countdown to Israel’s destruction
On Monday night an explosion at a state-owned warehouse in Karaj, west of Tehran led to a major fire. Reports on Iranian state media said the blaze was the result of an electrical fire.
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) July 5, 2021
The Iranian Students News Agency reported that the blaze began when materials held in the warehouse caught fire during the extreme heatwave in Iran.
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) July 5, 2021
“The place of the fire was a large warehouse where all kinds of goods, even household appliances, were stored,” Seyed Jalal Maleki told ISNA.
— Hami Hamedi (@HamediHami) July 5, 2021
The Tamliki Property Organization, known as the Organization for Collection and Sale of State-owned Properties of Iran (OCSSPI), alleged that due to the high temperature in Tehran in recent days, “there is speculation that the fire was caused by a power outage,” according to ISNA.
Rastakhiz, a Twitter account belonging to an Iranian immigrant to the US, noted that ironically, the Iranian regime’s countdown to Israel’s annihilation also stopped due to the power outage.
Iranian regime’s countdown to Israel’s annihilation clock has stopped working because of the power outages that have swept across Iran. pic.twitter.com/1gnNVeLoRU
— Rastakhiz (@sedaye_iran) July 4, 2021
Last month, a massive fire broke out at the state-owned Tondgooyan Petrochemical Co. oil refinery. Reports blamed the blaze on a blast that reportedly struck a pipeline for liquefied petroleum gas at the facility. Also last month, a drone attack reportedly damaged an Iranian nuclear facility in Karaj used for assembling centrifuges for uranium enrichment.
Also last month, a large fire broke out in a steel mill in Zarand, Kerman Province leading to a large explosion.
At the same time, the Khark, the largest warship in the Iranian navy, caught fire and later sank in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances.
In May, the Sepahan Nargostar petrochemical plant in Asaluyehin in the Bushehr province of southern Iran was hit by an explosion that killed one worker and injured two others. Authorities said the blast originated in the oxygen transmission pipeline to two local petrochemical complexes. It was later revealed that the plant produced drones. Coincidentally, the IDF shot down an Iranian-made drone just a few days prior, after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards announced the production of a new combat drone dubbed “Gaza” in a tribute to Palestinians.
Iranian nuclear facilities
In April, just one day after a chain of 164 advanced 164 IR-6 uranium enrichment centrifuges went online, an explosion hit Natanz, the country’s main uranium enrichment facility. Last July, Natanz suffered an explosion at its advanced centrifuge assembly plant. One week earlier, a large explosion was reported in the Parchin military base that was associated with nuclear weapons. It was later revealed that the explosion was the result of a cyberattack, possibly carried out by Israel.
At about the same time as the explosion at the Parchin facility, a large explosion at the local power station left half of the city of Tehran without electricity.
Last July, a blast hit a missile facility/warehouse in Western Tehran belonging to Revolutionary Guards. The blast had hit an area with underground facilities, associated with chemical weapons research and an unidentified military production site.
In the same month, at least seven Iranian ships caught fire in the port city of Bushehr. The incident came just after the Israeli Water Authority confirmed a report that two cyber attacks were carried out against Israeli water infrastructure.
In May, Iran launched an unsuccessful; cyberattack targeting Israel’s water infrastructure, and poison the water by increasing chlorine levels in water flowing to residential areas. Israel responded by launching a cyberattack that shut down the Shahid Rajaee port—one of two major shipping terminals in the coastal city of Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormuz.
In November, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was shot dead in Tehran.
In an interview with Channel 12 last month, Yossi Cohen, the former head of the Mossad, revealed that Israel was behind recent attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear program and a military scientist.