by: Joshua Spurlock
Monday, 20 July 2020 | The explosions in Iran have continued, with the latest blast at a power plant in the city of Isfahan, a city home to a major Iranian nuclear research facility. The CEO of Isfahan Power Generation Company told the IRNA [Islamic Republic News Agency] that the explosion on Sunday did not cut off electricity to those relying on the power plant. The report, translated into English by Google, said a substation transformer exploded at the power plant, which is around 50 years old. The CEO claimed the substation was functioning normally in two hours.
The incident comes as multiple explosions and fires have hit Iran in recent weeks, including blasts at missile and nuclear facilities. The incidents have been suspicious, with Iran unwilling to share the conclusions of their investigation into the nuclear facility explosion. Neither Israel nor the United States have officially claimed responsibility for the incidents, although speculation has raged in the media about possible sabotage.
Last Monday, less than one week before the latest explosion, Iran issued a threat if it turned out the explosions were in fact foreign sabotage. The Fars News Agency quoted Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying that Iran would take a “smart and wise reaction” in that event.
Kamalvandi, whose comments were originally made in the Etemad newspaper, was quoted by Fars as saying, “The strategic and inviolable policy of the Islamic Republic in different cases and positions is a smart and wise reaction based on the three principles of honor, wisdom and expediency.”
The comments, though muted, recalled Iran’s threats against the US after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani—the former head of the Quds Force, Iran’s top spy and terror-sponsoring agency. While Iran delayed their response, Tehran eventually launched a missile attack against US forces.
To that end, Iran may already be thinking about its response or preparing against further attacks. CNN reported last Thursday that US intelligence has indications that Iran’s air defense system had been set to “high alert.”
While neither the US nor Israel have claimed credit for the explosion incidents, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Friday highlighted the American efforts to counter Iran, including sanctions and the assassination of Soleimani.
“Outlaw regimes like the one that was led by the ayatollah [honorary title bestowed on high-ranking Shiite Muslim clerics in Iran] only respond to strength, not to appeasement,” said Pompeo in comments published by the US State Department.
He noted the US policy on Iran “deprives the regime of blood money. It denies the regime diplomatic sanctuary. And it deters the regime from aggression.”
Posted on July 20, 2020
Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on July 19, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)
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