The location of a possible crater and the approximate blast and damage area from the explosion and fire at at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site. (Screengrab)

July 21, 2020

The explosion that took place near a sensitive military site in the Iranian capital Tehran last month was due to an accident, a government spokesman reiterated on Tuesday, ruling out any Israeli involvement.

On June 25, an explosion took place close to the Parchin military site east of Tehran. A defence ministry spokesman later told state TV the explosion was caused by a tank leak at a gas storage facility.

On July 2, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) said an “accident” had taken place at a construction site in the Natanz nuclear site in central Iran without causing casualties.

Asked at a press conference about the government’s investigations on the recent fires and explosion in Iran, government spokesman Ali Rabei said the explosion at Parchin was “natural and did not leave considerable damage. There was no sabotage.”

“But the incident at Natanz has its own complexities, and experts still have come to a final conclusion, which the Atomic Energy Organization will announce,” said Rabei.

On July 3, Iran said it determined the cause of the “accident” at Natanz but declined to release details citing security reasons.

Some media reports suggested that Israel may have been behind some of the recent incidents in Iran, especially the incident at Natanz.

Three Iranian officials who spoke to Reuters said they thought cyber sabotage had been involved at Natanz, but offered no evidence. Two said Israel could have been behind it.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for any attacks in Iran.

“Since the beginning of these incidents, some media outlets and media activists, who mainly work with Mossad, have linked the Natanz incident to the Israeli regime in a planned and coordinated effort to portray a powerful image of the Israeli regime,” Rabei said.

Some Iran watchers say the Iranian regime is refraining from admitting to an Israeli involvement in order to “save face.”

Admitting to an Israeli involvement will also require a response from Iran which the regime likely does not have the capacity for, they say.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.