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7 ships on fire at Iranian port city of Bushehr, location of sole nuclear plant

  • Iranian news agency doesn’t say what started the blaze in Bushehr, the province housing the Islamic Republic’s only nuclear plant

By TOI staff, 15 July 2020

At least seven ships caught fire Wednesday at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr in Iran, the Tasnim news agency reported.

The news agency didn’t say what started the blaze. There were no reports of injuries.

A local official quoted by the official IRNA news agency said authorities were working to bring the fires under control.

Bushehr Province, of which the eponymous port city is the capital, is where Iran’s sole nuclear plant is located.

The incident was the latest in string of mysterious fires and blasts to rock the country. Several of the recent disasters have struck sensitive Iranian sites, leading to speculation that they could be part of a sabotage campaign engineered by Israel.

The blasts included an explosion on July 2 that damaged Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility and, a week before that, a large blast felt in Tehran, apparently caused by an explosion at the Parchin military complex, which defense analysts believe holds an underground tunnel system and missile production facilities.

A Middle Eastern intelligence official was quoted earlier this month by The New York Times as saying the fire that badly damaged a building used for producing centrifuges at Natanz was sparked by Israel and was caused by a powerful bomb.

But the unidentified official said Israel was not linked to several other recent mysterious fires in Iran over the past week.

Iran last week called for action against Israel following the damage to the Natanz facility,  and appeared to acknowledge the fire there was not an accident.

Israeli TV reports, without naming sources, have said the blast destroyed the laboratory in which Iran developed faster centrifuges and set back the Iranian nuclear program by one or two years.

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