After extensive Western media conjecture about a long series of suspicious fires and incidents in Iran, Iranian state media is now speculating that the recent fire on a US warship may be the result of an attack by dissidents, or others.
In early July an explosion at a factory south of Tehran killed two people and seriously injured three others. It was part of a string of deadly fires and explosions that have broken out at military and industrial installations in the country, including the Natanz nuclear facility and a missile assembly plant.
The explosion, which destroyed a factory in Tehran and caused extensive damage to a neighbouring factory, was described as an accident and attributed to human error which caused oxygen tanks stored there to explode.
Several days before the factory fire broke out, an explosion damaged a power plant in the Iranian city of Ahvaz. Later the same day, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported that a chlorine gas leak at a petrochemical centre in southeast Iran had injured 70 workers.
The week before that, there was an explosion at a medical centre in Teheran, described by Iranian officials as an accident and attributed to faulty gas canisters, and an explosion occurred at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. The preceding week, a large blast was felt in Tehran, apparently caused by an explosion at the Parchin military complex, believed by Western analysts to be the location of an underground tunnel complex that includes missile production facilities. The explosion and subsequent fire were blamed on leaking gas tanks
Iranian officials eventually admitted that the fire at Natanz caused “considerable” damage, after satellite images appeared revealing widespread devastation. They had previously sought to downplay the damage from the blaze, which destroyed an above-ground laboratory used to prepare advanced centrifuges for installation in the underground facilities.
According to a spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency, the building was constructed in 2013. However, work was suspended at the plant in 2015 pursuant to the JCPOA nuclear deal. When the United States unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 operations were renewed. The spokesman said that the fire had damaged “precision and measuring instruments” at the facility.
Although the incident was described as an “accident” and the damage caused was dismissed as not substantial, Iranian officials subsequently warned that Iran would weigh its response to “hostile countries” if it was determined that they were responsible for the explosion.
Hours after the announcement, Iran’s state news agency IRNA published an editorial warning that “if there are signs of hostile countries crossing Iran’s red lines in any way, especially the Zionist regime (Israel) and the United States, Iran’s strategy to confront the new situation must be fundamentally reconsidered.”
Western media outlets were quick to feed the rumour mill. Several contradictory accounts appeared purporting to explain the cause of the fire. According to a report by the BBC, the fire was set by a group of dissident Iranian officers.
The New York Times quoted an unnamed Middle Eastern intelligence official saying an explosion had taken place as the result of a bomb planted inside the facility. “The blast was caused by an explosive device planted inside the facility,” the Times quoted the official saying, and “destroyed much of the aboveground parts of the facility where new centrifuges… are balanced before they are put into operation.”
Asked about reports of the incident at a press conference Thursday evening, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brushed aside the question: “I don’t address these issues,” he said.
In Washington, the State Department said that US officials were “monitoring reports of a fire at an Iranian nuclear facility.” It added: “This incident serves as another reminder of how the Iranian regime continues to prioritize its misguided nuclear program to the detriment of the Iranian people’s needs.”
So it shouldn’t be surprising that Iranian media and officials have taken the opportunity to speculate over the cause of the fire at a naval shipyard in San Diego last week.
Addressing a meeting of senior resistance commanders, Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), urged the Americans “not to waste their time looking for a culprit or levelling accusations against others” over what happened to the navy ship off San Diego.
“This is a fire they (Americans) have lit themselves,” he said.
He was referring to the fire that broke out on the Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship and light aircraft carrier, as it was anchored at the US Naval base in San Diego on Sunday.
Qa’ani – who was assigned to the Quds Force after the US assassinated his predecessor Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad in early January – said both the United States and its regional ally Israel were heading into a period of serious hardship and adversity.
“You are still experiencing your halcyon days. You have very tough days and occurrences ahead of you.” He further noted that the US military has turned into a “tired and decrepit” force, and its equipment has degraded into “scrap iron”, adding that Washington has to accept its dire conditions and stop oppressing the humanity and its own people. LINK
An article posted at Press TV proffered a selection of possible causes of the fire:
And so when we explore the possibilities for what may have caused this fire, I think we can rule out an Israeli false flag because if the Israelis had done it, they would have done their best to murder all 1000 sailors assigned to the ship. They would have waited till it was full and then they would have tried to blow it up or attack it with gunboats like they did with the USS Liberty in 1967. So I think the Israelis probably weren’t behind this one. But one never knows.
It’s quite possible that this is another Gulf of Tonkin or “Remember the Maine” type of incident. It’s conceivable that it will be blamed on a cyberattack from whoever the US wants to escalate against. That easily could be Iran, it could be Russia, it could even be China, we don’t really know. This type of mysterious event is perfect for being blamed on a cyberattack because nobody can prove that kind of thing…
It’s also possible that we’re witnessing some kind of civil war within the US military over the violent suppression of the recent Black Lives Matter protests. It could be angry pro-Black Lives Matter sailors who were behind this, or some pro-BLM faction in the military, or it could have been the opposite faction, the angry white nationalist contingent.
The US military is very much divided. It has a lot of extremist white nationalists, and it also has a disproportionate representation of African Americans. Unlike almost all other important institutions in American life, African Americans are more or less welcomed and quite well represented in the military. And so that has led to a situation where the over-representation of white nationalist racists and African Americans in the military has created a situation where there could conceivably be some conflict.
So we’ll wait and see what the propagandists in the corporate-controlled mainstream media infiltrated by Operation Mockingbird, the CIA media-controlled operation, have to say about this fire, and then from there, we can start to speculate with a little bit more evidence behind us as to what really happened. LINK
It is to be expected that there will be further incidents in the future, both in Iran and elsewhere. And there will be very little sympathy to be found.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Another deadly explosion hits industrial facility in Iran
- Explosion at Iranian military site known for nuclear testing-official version is gas explosion